“The United Way’s telling of the story of ALICE in New Jersey – the more than one million families who are Asset Limited, Income Constrained, and Employed – proves beyond any doubt the need for our efforts to both grow our economy and make it more fair. As the data show, more than one-third of New Jersey households, encompassing all ages and races, in every county, still can’t earn enough to afford basic needs. The fact that many of these households are headed by someone working full time, including at more than one job, shows us the need for action.
“Ultimately, our economy can’t grow if people can’t earn a livable wage. That’s why our economic agenda puts ALICE front-and-center, with a clear focus on creating good new jobs, on expanding workforce development, and on the Opportunity Zones all across our state. It’s why I have spent the past week abroad working to bring new business investment back to New Jersey
“But, we must also recommit to taking immediate action to raise New Jersey’s minimum wage and put it on a path to $15 an hour. The Legislature has given its strong support in the past to raising the wage. I have never wavered in my commitment. We must make this a legislative priority and work to enact it before the end of the upcoming holidays. Economic stability would be among the best holiday gifts we could possibly give our ALICE families. We can, and must, deliver.”