Effective Wednesday, the minimum wage in New Jersey will be going up $1, to $11 an hour.

Rob Asaro-Angelo, the commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, said this is part of a multi-step process “which will bring us 4 years away from the final goal of $15 an hour, so on Jan. 1, 2024, the minimum wage in New Jersey for most workers will be $15 an hour.”

The minimum wage will rise by $1 at the start of each year until then.

Rob Asaro-Angelo, said this is about creating a better and fairer New Jersey for all its residents.

“I’m really excited to say that about 192,000 workers, most workers in New Jersey who make under $11, will be seeing a raise," he said.

Asaro-Angelo said the stepped increase is intended to give businesses time to adjust to the new wages -- "to make sure we’re making things fairer for workers and fairer for businesses as well.”

“This minimum wage increase will apply to all workers in New Jersey other than agricultural, some seasonal and employees employed by a business with 5 or less employees," Asaro-Angelo said.

The minimum wage for those workers will rise to $10.30 an hour effective Jan. 1.

Gov. Phil Murphy signed the minimum wage increase into law earlier this year. A first bump, from the previous $8.85 to $10, went into effect over the summer.

Critics of the increase said it would put an undue burden on businesses, in particular small businesses -- and that they'd have trouble employing as many people

Angelo said he constantly speaks with heads of companies to make sure they’re getting what they want from their employees.

“If they don’t think their worker is worth $11 an hour, come talk with us, we’ll make sure they get up-skilled and trained to make them worth that minimum wage.”

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