New Jersey’s Newest Bad Idea: Altering the Constitution to Raise the Minimum Wage

The Democratic-controlled New Jersey legislature and Republican Governor Chris Christie have been at odds over the issue of raising the state’s minimum wage. Instead of seeking compromise, the legislature decided to bypass the executive branch in an attempt to amend the New Jersey Constitution to hike the minimum wage and put further annual raises on autopilot.

The Employment Policies Institute has launched a campaign that seeks to educate New Jersey residents on the negative impacts of minimum wage hikes. So far, the campaign has included a television commercial, radio commercials in July and August, and a policy brief, all of which focus on how mandated wage hikes mean fewer job opportunities for less-experienced employees.

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The campaign explains how mandated wage increases not only force employers to cut costs, resulting in fewer jobs, but also fail to reduce poverty in New Jersey. In a state with a 26 percent teen unemployment rate, making these negative consequences a permanent part of the state constitution is a recipe for disaster.