Bad Idea California

We're waiting, Charles...

On March 27, 2014 we challenged New Jersey AFL-CIO President Charles Wowkanech to defend his misleading rhetoric on the minimum wage.

What happened in New Jersey?

In January 2014, New Jersey’s minimum wage was increased to $8.25 and set to rise automatically in the future. Proponents promised that “jobs won’t be lost” and that the cost “will be all but invisible.” EPI surveyed nearly 250 affected businesses during a one-month period spanning December 2013 and January 2014, to find out if this was true.

Employer reactions to the new minimum wage:
61%
Very or Somewhat Likely to Raise Prices
48%
Very or Somewhat Likely to Reduce Employee Hours
49%
Very or Somewhat Likely to Reduce Staff
*Survey results represent 237 New Jersey businesses.
Increase in Labor Costs Associated with the Wage Hike
NJ Study Chart

Activist Claims

  • “…proven to benefit the local economy.”

    - Working Families United for New Jersey

  • “The cost of this very modest minimum wage increase will be all but invisible…”

    - New Jersey Main Street Alliance

  • “…jobs won’t be lost…”

    - NJPP President Gordon MacInnes

The Reality

  • “If [the employees are] not doing anything, I have to let them go home earlier, instead of having them for an extra half-hour”

    - Restaurant, Wrightstown, NJ

  • “It has impacted us where, right now, when it gets really slow I have to send people home early.”

    - Restaurant, Trenton, NJ

  • “I had to reduce the hours of my employees to make up for the difference [in cost].”

    - Food Market, West New York, NJ

  • “We had to cut back on crew – we don’t get to work with as many staff as we used to.”

    - Restaurant, Old Bridge, NJ

  • “We had to cut staffing members in order to afford the [raise] that was put into effect.”

    - Retail Store, Oakland, NJ

  • “The impact it had on my business is, I had to raise prices and I had to let go one of the peoples that worked for me.”

    - Retail Store, Newark, NJ

  • “I don’t know what I’m going to do. I’m going to have to keep my payroll down, and make sure that I only hire what I need, not hire that extra person like I would normally do only because I can’t afford them.”

    - Seasonal Business, Denville, NJ