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New Jersey’s Tipped Workers Are Among the Country’s Lowest Paid

A new report shows that New Jersey’s tipped workers are among the lowest in the country, paid the federal minimum wage of $2.13 an hour.

That federal minimum for tipped workers hasn’t increased since 1991; since that time its lost 96 cents worth of its value because of the failure to keep up with the increased costs of living.

According to the New Jersey Policy Perspective, “Thirty-one states and Washington, D.C., have a tipped minimum wage that is higher than the federal requirement, including West Virginia at $5.80 and Arizona at $4.90.

Seven of these are “equal treatment” states, and mandate that the tipped minimum wage cannot be lower than the state’s regular minimum wage. Eighteen other states do have the same tipped minimum wage as New Jersey, but the Garden State is the only state in the northeast that has not moved its tipped minimum above the federal floor of $2.13 an hour”.

The poverty rates for tipped workers in states like New Jersey with a $2.13 minimum are about a third higher than in states where the minimum wage for tipped workers equaled the wage for all workers.

This disparity is even more pronounced for waiters and bartenders – in $2.13 tipped minimum wage states, 18 percent of these workers live in poverty, compared to 10.2 percent in equal treatment states.

Tipped workers in New Jersey also have a cost of living much higher than tipped workers in many other states.

What’s your feeling about the the low tipped minimum wage here in New Jersey? Is it time for an increase?  Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.


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