Saturday, September 5, 2009

Minimum Wage Hike: Record Teenage Unemployment

From the NY Times:
This August, the teenage unemployment rate — that is, the percentage of teenagers who wanted a job who could not find one — was 25.5 percent, its highest level since the government began keeping track of such statistics in 1948. Likewise, the percentage of teenagers over all who were working was at its lowest level in recorded history.... Increases in the minimum wage may have made employers reluctant to hire teenagers, said Marvin H. Kosters, a resident scholar emeritus at the American Enterprise Institute.
Now, I'm pretty sure that the car wash where I got a job at 15 would still hire some of these teenagers part-time (I did survive a minimum wage hike while I was there - $4.25 to $5.15), but it has been shown over and over again that the effect of a minimum wage hike is to disallow the lowest quality, poorest, entry-level workers a job. I'm glad that the New York Times is at least reporting well-supported economic theory.

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