Wage laws hurt teens

Posted on June 03, 2009

The May 25th article “Teenagers face tight job market,” acknowledged the high unemployment rate for teens, but failed to mention the negative long-term problems.

A study out of Stanford University found that those who as youths experienced especially long periods of unemployment were particularly prone to negative long-term effects on future wages and employment.
Those who are priced out of the job market by high minimum wages are also deprived of the “invisible curriculum” that comes from learning how to report to a supervisor, show up on time and work with others as part of a team. State and federal lawmakers should recognize that feel-good wage hikes hurt vulnerable workers like teens, and they will feel the negative impact for years to come.

Kristen Lopez Eastlick, Senior Economic Analyst,
Employment Policies Institute, Washington, D.C.