Jersey City mayor Steven Fulop announced today that, effective August 23, the minimum wage for all municipal employees in the city will be raised to $17 per hour, up from $15.
The increase will not impact private businesses in the city, which instead must adhere to the statewide $12 minimum wage. Under the conditions of a bill passed in 2018, New Jersey’s minimum wage will continue to rise every year until 2024, when it will stabilize at $15 per hour.
“Prioritizing workers and families most impacted by the pandemic, we’re increasing the minimum wage not only to show our appreciation to our dedicated employees, but I hope our efforts will also encourage other leaders on all levels of government to make the same considerations for their low-wage workforce,” Fulop said in a press release. “We are raising salaries for hundreds of hardworking residents and community members to provide their families with a financial boost during these uncertain times and for future planning.”
Fulop made a similar move in 2016, when he raised the city’s municipal minimum wage to $15, which was nearly double the state’s minimum wage of $8.38. The press release noted that the city’s 2016 hike was soon followed suit by other municipalities and eventually the state, and Fulop indicated he hopes today’s announcement will spur similar action.
At the time of the 2016 wage raise, Fulop was considering embarking on a 2017 run for governor, though he ultimately did not launch a campaign.
This year, Fulop is seeking re-election to a third term as mayor, but the contest is not expected to be competitive. Fulop could also soon find himself the mayor of New Jersey’s largest city; census numbers to be released on August 16 may show Jersey City overtaking Newark for the top spot.