JERSEY CITY, N.J. (PIX11) — Jersey City is raising its minimum wage for full-time municipal employees to $20 per hour, Mayor Steven M. Fulop announced Thursday.

The Living Wage Statute, which is part of the city’s 2022-2023 fiscal year budget, will help raise the standard of living for municipal workers, partially offset inflation, and improve employee retention, Fulop said in a statement.

“In Jersey City, we already set the highest minimum wage standards, and we are taking it a step further to provide our residents and workers with a decent standard of living so that they don’t have to decide between feeding their children dinner or making rent,” the mayor said.  “By introducing a living wage, we are raising the bar, putting upwards pressure on salaries, offsetting historic federal inflation levels and cost of living increases, improving employee retention, and sustaining our local economy.”

The minimum wage for city workers already sat at $17, among the highest in the nation. The new $20 minimum will also widen the gap between New Jersey’s state minimum wage at $13 per hour.

Fulop heralded the pay hike as another example of his administration’s efforts to protect workers. In 2013, Fulop led an effort to make Jersey City the first in the state to guarantee sick days. Two years later he signed wage theft prevention legislation, and in 2016 Fulop raised the minimum wage to $15, doubling the then-existing rate.