Disastrously Timed Minimum Wage Hikes Hit Teens the Hardest

Here is my latest column at American Issues Project:

Disastrously Timed Minimum Wage Hikes Hit Teens the Hardest

Teenagers looking for work this summer were out of luck. The teen unemployment rate rose to a record high of 25.5 percent in August of this year, up from 23.8 percent in July. This was more than ten points higher than the record 9.7 percent national unemployment rate announced this month. The teenage unemployment rate is at its highest level since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began keeping track of such data in 1948…

…There is another factor that may be hurting teens, the disastrously times minimum wage increases. Economist David Neumark wrote in The Wall Street Journal that the minimum wage increase would destroy an additional 300,000 jobs nationwide, concentrated among the most vulnerable and least skilled employee populations. Neumark added that with the aggregate unemployment rate at 9.4 percent in May 2008, the teen unemployment rate exceeding 22 percent, and the unemployment rate for black teens nearing 40 percent, July’s minimum wage increase seemed like the worst timing possible. He was right. The teen unemployment rate jumped 3.5 percentage points in one month…

You can read the rest on teen unemployment here. There is also a list of my recent columns on this page.

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