Democratic leaders in the NJ Assembly and Senate are working on measures to raise the minimum wage in Jersey to $15 an hour, but a new poll finds a majority of Garden State voters believe that’s too much.

(Kevork Djansezian, Getty Images)

According to Krista Jenkins, the director of the Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind poll, there is strong support for raising the minimum wage above its current level of $8.38.

“Seventy-three percent of New Jersey voters believe it should be increased, but when we asked them if they support the jump to $15 hourly, we find that by a slim majority the answer is no, 52 percent oppose an increase to that level,” she said. “So then the question is, if people support an increase and by a pretty sizeable margin, how much more should minimum wage workers be paid? And we find the average response given by Garden State voters is just shy of $12 dollars, the average amount suggested is $11.86 an hour.”

The poll also finds those who are the most economically vulnerable are also the most supportive of raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, and that includes people who are currently retired and unemployed (53 percent), and those who describe themselves as “overqualified” for the kind of work they perform while on the job (53 percent).

Jenkins pointed out ideology divides many on this issue.

She said 62 percent of Democrats support a $15 an hour minimum wage, while barely 1-in-7 Republicans support the same increase (16 percent).

The Fairleigh Dickinson University’s PublicMind survey was conducted by telephone from February 24 to the 28th, using a randomly selected sample of 694 self-identified registered voters in New Jersey.

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