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NJ Voters Don’t Think Minimum Wage Hike Will Cost Jobs [AUDIO]

The vast majority of N.J. voters support the idea of amending the state constitution to raise the current minimum wage to $8.25 an hour and to incorporate annual cost of living increases in the future.

The business community doesn’t seem to be doing a great job convincing voters that this is a bad idea. These are the two major findings in today’s Monmouth University-Asbury Park Press poll.

Voting booths
Joe Raedle, Getty Images

“The voters will get to decide whether New Jersey’s minimum wage goes up at the ballot in November and we find that New Jersey voters seem to be in the mood to pass this thing by a wide margin,” explains Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute. “Sixty-five percent of registered voters say they will vote to amend the constitution.”

Just 12 percent say they will vote against the ballot question. Another 22 percent are undecided.

Business leaders have been trying to persuade voters to reject the measure, saying that creating the initial wage increase and locking in future increases will actually hurt low-wage workers by leading to the loss of thousands of jobs.

“New Jerseyans don’t buy this point of view,” says Murray. “Sixty-seven percent in fact say that they don’t think that increasing the minimum wage is going to lead to a loss of jobs. Only 23 percent of voters actually side with the business community’s view.”

Another warning from the business community is that small businesses will be hurt. Garden State Voters are split on that topic.

“Just 33 percent take that view while another 26 percent say it will actually help,” says Murray. “Thirty-three percent say it will have no impact…… New Jersey voters simply do not accept the business community’s prediction of dire consequences.”

Remember the recent protests by fast food workers demanding that the minimum wage be raised to $15 an hour? The survey shows that’s not popular at all with New Jersey residents.

“Fifteen dollars is just well beyond the pale,” says Murray. “Only 16 percent of New Jersey voters would support raising the minimum wage all the way up to $15 an hour,” explains Murray.

The poll was conducted by telephone with 674 New Jersey registered voters from September 6 to 10, 2013 with a margin of error of + 3.8 percent.

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