Teens The Losers

Kudos to Cornelius Chapman for recognizing that our country’s continued high jobless rate for teens predicts consequences that stretch far beyond their pocketbooks (“Minimum wage chills need for summer jobs,” March 24).

A high minimum wage environment (at $8 per hour, Massachusetts mandates a wage even higher than the federal level) has contributed to this teen unemployment crisis. A survey of labor economists by the University of New Hampshire found 73 percent in agreement that wage hikes like this decrease the number of jobs for entry level employees.

And Northeastern University researchers have found that teens without job opportunities – especially economically disadvantaged teens – are also more likely to drop out of high school or get tangled up in the criminal justice system.

Michael Saltsman, Research Fellow
Employment Policies Institute
Washington, D.C.