Legislators are pushing for a $15-an-hour minimum wage in New Jersey, but that is not the solution that low-wage workers need, according to business groups. As NJBIA President and CEO Michele Siekerka explained to NJ101.5 News Radio, “It’s absolutely more than just handing someone a $15 an hour paycheck. We need to look at where’s the role of building someone’s skills.”
NJBIA and other business groups disagree that a higher minimum wage will boost the economy. Siekerka stressed if there’s a big increase in the minimum wage, it will hurt businesses, especially smaller ones. Before raising the minimum wage so dramatically, “we need to have a discussion focused on a comprehensive solution, on how to lift the wages of a low-wage earner,” she said.
NJBIA has long advocated workforce training as a way to boost wages. New Jersey businesses, like many across the country, are facing a significant shortage of skilled workers, with job openings going unfilled. Programs like “65 by ’25” are designed to improving employees’ skills to make their services more in demand.