Job more than wage

Posted on May 20, 2009

The article “Recession hits students who need jobs for diploma” (May 15) acknowledged the high unemployment rate for teens, but failed to mention the negative long-term problems these skyrocketing unemployment rates cause. 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.

Not having a summer job takes more than just money away from teens. 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.