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Sunday, July 25, 2010

The Young and Jobless : New evidence that the minimum wage has hurt teenage workers.

I wanted to blog about this yesterday, however, when I attempted to access this WSJ article yesterday it was listed for subscribers only. I can't afford or am unwilling to subscribe so all that can be done is to rely on the excerpt from Newsalert!
Today marks the first anniversary of Congress's decision to raise the federal minimum wage by 41% to $7.25 an hour. But hold the confetti. According to a new study, more than 100,000 fewer teens are employed today due to the wage hikes.

Economic slowdowns are tough on many job-seekers, but they're especially hard on the young and inexperienced, whose job prospects have suffered tremendously from Washington's ill-advised attempts to put a floor under wages. In a new paper published by the Employment Policies Institute, labor economists William Even of Miami University in Ohio and David Macpherson of Trinity University in Texas find a significant drop in teen employment as a direct result of the minimum wage hikes.

The wage hikes were implemented in three stages between 2007 and 2009, and not all states were affected because some already mandated a minimum wage above the federal requirement. But for the 19 states affected by all three stages of the federal wage increase, "there was a 6.9% decline in employment for teens aged 16 to 19," write the authors. And for those who had not completed high school, "we estimated that the hikes reduced employment by 12.4%," which translates to about 98,000 fewer teens in the work force.
You know Chicago was rocked by violence during the past week. See we had nothing but stories about a Police Officer killed as he was wiping down his new vehicle that he had bought for his retirement. Apparently three teens had targeted him and even worse he was in his police uniform. See he had just gotten off of work and his job was as bodyguard to the Mayor of Chicago. You know three teenaged thugs would think this was a good idea. I can't imagine more seasoned criminals would want to do something like this but then who knows.

Another issue worth thinking about in connection with this. Well it seems Chicago is poised to approve another Wal-Mart in the city. One was already approved in June for another depressed area of the city, but before that one hit the agenda there was one already proposed in a less-depressed area. Even better this store will be ready to go sooner than in the more depressed part of the city. Yet during a city council committee debate one city Alderman still had a problem with how much he believe Wal-Mart paid their workers.

My point. I remember once that I brushed off an Alderman who said that if there are no jobs then people are more apt to commit street crimes. My belief on that issue is to say those who do good will keep looking for work and hopefully avoid the illegal. At the same time idle minds can never be a good thing if being unemployed and not having any other prospects of finding employment causes you to do some acts you wouldn't otherwise do.

I wonder about those teenagers who think it's OK to kill a cop for his automobile. What prospects did they imagine for the future.

At the same time continuing this debate in the city over whether or not Wal-Mart pay their workers enough I can only imagine that will cost the city the jobs that is being projected. Not all the workers they hire would be worth that extra arbitrary wage they insist should be paid.

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