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Tags: minimum wage | teens | unemployment | covid-19

Experts: $15 Wage Will Mean Fewer Jobs for Teens

a graphic showing coins and the $15 minimum wage
(Andrey Popov/Dreamstime)

By    |   Sunday, 28 March 2021 05:30 AM

Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour might sustain higher teen unemployment rates and stifle economic recovery for less-experienced people entering the workforce, according to economists.

During the peak time of unemployment in the pandemic, teens aged 16-19 saw unemployment rates as high as 30% or more, according to The Wall Street Journal.

A federal increase in minimum wage could lift some out of poverty, but increasing the wage, could mean more demand on the workforce, ultimately creating a hurdle for those entering the workforce with little to no experience, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

Lauren Gimple, a teen in Powell, Ohio, left her job in the pandemic because members of her family have compromised immune systems, but she notes others might have more of a need to work than herself.

"People that have been with the company for longer than I have or who have more of a need— not just like a teenager trying to make money," she told the Journal, "I think they will be the ones to kind of keep their jobs first."

It is not just the teens themselves that are concerned about their future, "those on the lowest rungs of the job ladder," Alicia Sasser Modestino, a Ph.D. economist at Northeastern University said, "are going to get squeezed out, and mostly that's teens."

The current bill being bandied about being brought before Congress would phase in increases in the minimum wage, starting at $9.50, so teens would not get a $15 minimum wage for a few years.

The Labor Department already notes there are a smaller share of teens working now than in the past. Just 34.5% of 16-to-19-year-olds in 2020 versus more than 50% in 1980, data shows.

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US
Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour might sustain higher teen unemployment rates and stifle economic recovery for less-experienced people entering the workforce, according to economists.
minimum wage, teens, unemployment, covid-19
288
2021-30-28
Sunday, 28 March 2021 05:30 AM
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