Business Report: Health insurance premiums, higher minimum wage

September 22, 2022

Teachers and school employees are the latest workers facing sharply higher health insurance premiums. The state’s School Employees’ Health Benefits Commission voted to increase rates by about 15% for next year. Last week, a separate commission approved double-digit premium increases for other public workers. NJ Spotlight News’ budget and finance reporter John Reitmeyer says some school board officials are raising concerns about possible cutbacks due to the added cost.

New Jersey’s statewide minimum wage will increase by $1.13 to $14.13 an hour starting in January. The state is on a path to a $15 minimum wage by 2024, under a law signed by Gov. Phil Murphy in 2019. The law mandates wage increases of $1 per hour or more if there is a significant increase in inflation. That’s why the increase will be higher for 2023.

Data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows 22% of New Jerseyans worked from home in 2021, a more than fourfold increase over 2019. New Jersey has a greater share of people working from home than most other states. Rutgers University Professor Carl Van Horn, director of the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development, doesn’t see much changing in the near future.

NJ Spotlight News, September 20, 2022

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