Fulop raises minimum wage for Jersey City workers to $17 an hour, effective this month

Mayor, saying increase in pay will boost local economy, hopes effort will spur increases in state, federal minimums

Jersey City will raise the minimum wage for city workers to $17 an hour — a $2-an-hour increase that will begin in just a matter of weeks.

The raise of the wage, announced by Mayor Steve Fulop and members of the city council, is effective Aug. 23. The minimum wage increase will affect 400 Jersey City employees, including parking enforcement and crossing guards.

Officials said the move is being made to help the low-wage and essential workers that are suffering the most financially as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Those workers often come from minority populations.

“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.

“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.”

The increase in wage means Jersey City will pay much higher than the minimum for federal ($11 an hour) and state ($12 an hour) employees.

City officials said raising wages among workers has proven to fuel local economic growth, creating positive ripple effects throughout the entire community, and ultimately saving taxpayer dollars. More than 95% of the employees affected are residents of the Jersey City community. Boosting the minimum wage also increases employee retention, thereby improving efficiency and maintaining higher levels of public services.

The move is the latest from Fulop to help city workers:

  • In 2013, just four months into his administration, Jersey City became the first municipality in New Jersey to guarantee sick days;
  • In 2015, Fulop signed into law a wage theft prevention ordinance;
  • In 2016, Fulop raised the minimum wage to $15 an hour, a move that doubled the rate prior.

“It is my sincere hope that this salary boost will provide financial relief for many Jersey City families, and we look forward to continuing our work together creating the best work environment possible,” Fulop said.