Minimum wage maxes unemployment

Federal politicians’ “feel-good” rhetoric merely reinforces policies that result in unemployment for entry-level workers, especially in a weak economy (“Federal wage hike set for this month,” July 1).
Decades of economic research predicted that there would be an increase in job losses following minimum-wage hikes, particularly among vulnerable groups like minority teens and adults without a high school diploma.

The federal unemployment rate has skyrocketed 70 percent from June 2008 to June 2009. Mandating yet another increase in labor prices without any regard for what is happening in the economy will force employers to cut hours and eliminate some jobs entirely.

For hardworking citizens – especially vulnerable entry-level workers – a lower minimum wage is much better than none at all.

Kristen Lopez Eastlick
Washington, D.C.

Eastlick is senior economic analyst for the Employment Policies Institute.