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December 29, 2022

New Jersey and Delaware will see minimum wage hikes in 2023

Pennsylvania's hourly rate will remain stagnant at $7.25 for the 14th consecutive year, with no immediate plans for an increase

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New Jersey and Delaware are among more than 20 states that will see a minimum wage increase in 2023. More than 8 million Americans will see an uptick in their minimum wage earnings beginning on New Year's Day. Pennsylvania's minimum wage has remained stagnant at $7.25 per hour for more than a decade with no immediate plans for a hike.

New Jersey and Delaware are among more than 20 states gearing up for minimum wage increases scheduled to go into effect on New Year's Day. 

New Jersey's minimum wage will jump to $14.13 an hour on Jan. 1, up from $13 in 2022. The state's goal, outlined in legislation signed by Gov. Phil Murphy in 2019, is to increase the rate by at least $1 per year in order to reach a $15 minimum hourly wage statewide by 2024.

The 2023 rate is slightly elevated due to an increase in the Consumer Price Index, according to the Department of Labor. Tipped workers in New Jersey will also see their wages bumped to $5.26 per hour, with employers able to claim a $8.87 tip credit. If the minimum wage plus an employee's tips does not equal at least the state minimum wage, the employer must pay the difference. 

Delaware's minimum wage will be bumped up to $11.75 in the new year, up from $10.50 per hour in 2022. This keeps the state on track towards its goal of $15 per hour by 2025. The 12% raise is the result of legislation signed by Gov. John Carney in July 2021, who argued that "Delawareans who go to work full time shouldn't be living in poverty." 

The state will raise its minimum wage to $13.25 per hour in 2024 before jumping to $15 in 2025. The minimum wage for tipped workers will remain the same at $2.23 per hour. Other laborers, including some government employees and domestic service workers, will not see a change in January. 

"There is no place in this country where you can meet the standard of living of an adult and a child on a minimum wage job in this country. None," Dave Kamper, senior state policy coordinator at the Economic Policy Institute, told CBS Pittsburgh. "Real wages for workers, which is what a worker's wages is actually worth in terms of what they can buy, have fallen through the pandemic rather than actually gone up. Indexing minimum wage to inflation is a way to make up for that." 

Pennsylvania's minimum wage will stay stagnant at $7.25, where it has remained since the federal minimum wage was last changed in 2008. During his eight years in office, Gov. Tom Wolf has repeatedly asked the General Assembly to increase the state minimum wage to $15 per hour, a sentiment he echoed just before Christmas Day in 2021. 

As Wolf exits office after two terms this January, Pennsylvania AG Josh Shapiro is set to take over in Harrisburg. As part of his gubernatorial campaign, Shapiro pledged to prioritize raising the state minimum wage.

"We need to raise the minimum wage to at least $15 per hour — period," Shapiro told WHYY ahead of the midterm election. "Then we need to make sure that we're giving people the skills necessary to do the jobs of today and tomorrow."  

In August, Pennsylvania raised the income threshold for tipped workers across the state in an effort to protect wages. Tipped employees across Pennsylvania must earn at least $135 per month in tips before their hourly rate can be reduced from $7.25 to the tipped minimum of $2.53 per hour. 

Other states that will see minimum wage increases in 2023 include Nebraska, Michigan, Washington and California. Most of the workers who will be impacted by these hourly wage increases are 25 years old or older, according to the Economic Policy Institute. 

About 44.8% of those workers are employed full-time. More than 8 million Americans in total will receive a wage increase on New Year's Day, including more than 2 million parents. By the end of next year, 54 cities, counties and states will have exceeded a $15 minimum wage, according to a December report from the National Employment Law Project.

NELP noted last year that a handful of Pennsylvania businesses individually increased their minimum wage to $15 per hour or more. These include HipCityVeg, Rivers Casino, WellSpan Health, Rutter's, Klavon's Ice Cream Parlor, Evangelical Community Hospital and Geisinger. 

Dozens of national companies have announced plans to increase their minimum wage in the coming years. These include Bank of America, which aims to hit $25 per hour by 2025, and Target, which announced plans to increase its minimum wage to as much as $24 this year.