This upcoming election day, the New Jersey ballots will have a statewide question for voters; should the minimum wage be increased by one dollar--from $7.25 to $8.25?
While many Jersey Shore business owners think this wage hike would be devastating, the New Jersey Main Street Alliance, released a video supporting the increase. The Alliance's web-only video shows small business owners stating not only the economic, but also the social benefits that could be gained from the minimum wage increase.
Pennsylvania currently follows the federal minimum wage standard, which was increased to $7.25 in 2012, and is being considered for an increase to over $10.00 per hour.
The Greater Lehigh Valley, consists of Lehigh, Northampton, and Warren County, which is located in New Jersey. The NJ county is side-by-side with the PA counties making up the region, and having one area with a much higher wage scale could lead to worker migrations. Meaning PA workers will head to NJ for their higher paying jobs.
Jobs, however are a different story. Pennsylvania, and Lehigh County in particular, has started to see the relocating of certain business components (warehouses, production facilities, and site expansions) from New Jersey. These recent activities could be in preparation to take advantage of PA's lower wage scale.
Both supporters and opponents should keep in mind, as stated in the Main Street video, having workers that earn more money, leads to those same consumers having more to spend.That extra income will be spent across this entire region.