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DeAngelo: Minimum Wage Increase Necessary to Keep Working Families Out of Poverty

Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo (D-Hamilton), a member of the Assembly Labor Committee who supported legislation today to increase the state’s minimum wage, called the measure critically important to keep working families out of poverty.

“An increase in the minimum wage is, quite simply, critical to families who are counting their pennies to survive in this economy,” said DeAngelo. “Working families have been the hardest hit by the economy of the recent years since middle-class jobs in manufacturing, construction and building trades and dried up and have been slow to return. These working men and women have moved toward minimum wage-paying jobs in order to keep food on their table until the industries they are trained in rebound. Since the economy is slow to grow, these jobs have become permanent thereby cementing the reality that the minimum wage simply is not a sustainable salary for New Jerseyans.”

DeAngelo noted that at the current New Jersey minimum wage, a full-time employee only earns $15,080. In comparison, the federal poverty level for a two-person household is $15,130.

“If we keep the minimum wage at the current level, then single-parent families earning the minimum wage at a full-time job will live in poverty in New Jersey. We can’t sit idly by while a parent raising their children cannot financially support themselves or pay the bare minimum of daily expenses earning the minimum wage,” said DeAngelo.