New Jersey State Senator Anthony Bucco said that a minimum wage plan announced by Democrats yesterday will force small business owners to make tough choices about staffing levels and the adoption of labor-replacing technologies.
“As a small business owner, I understand how difficult it is to maintain employees’ jobs and benefits when we’re constantly faced with new taxes and expensive mandates from the State,” said Bucco (R-25). “I have no doubt that the huge costs being forced on employers by Governor Murphy and the Democratic legislature will lead to reduced hours for workers, layoffs, and the faster adoption of automation technologies that are already leading to workforce reductions in many industries.”
Bucco noted that self-service technologies, including checkout kiosks and ordering tablets, are increasingly common in the retail and restaurant industries.
Similarly, rapid advances in robotics are providing employers with affordable options to replace workers in labor intensive jobs in a variety of industries, including agriculture, shipping, and warehousing.
“The simple fact is that many low-skill jobs won’t be worth $15 an hour to an employer when they have access to reliable technology that can perform the same function at a competitive cost,” added Bucco. “Governor Murphy doesn’t understand that the minimum wage for unemployed workers who have lost their jobs to robots or kiosks is zero."