$600 Million in New Spending Not the Way to Create Teen Jobs

Employment Policies Institute Makes Statement on Disaster Relief and Summer Jobs Act
  • Publication Date: March 2010

  • Topics: Minimum Wage

WASHINGTON – Wednesday night, the House of Representatives passed the Disaster Relief and Summer Jobs Act of 2010 (H.R. 4899). The bill will send $600 million to states to create summer employment opportunities for teens.

Michael Saltsman, research fellow at the Employment Policies Institute, made the following statement regarding the legislation:

To create jobs for our country’s 1.4 million out-of-work teens, Congress should reconsider laws that make it difficult for less-skilled applicants to find work in the first place.

Speaker Pelosi claims that $600 million in new government spending will support 300,000 summer jobs for out-of-work teens.

Yet, current research from Ball State University attributed the loss of 310,000 teenage part-time jobs to the Pelosi-supported minimum wage increase – a 40 percent increase between July 2007 and July 2009.

Economic research from as far back as the 1940s shows that mandated wage hikes are job-killers, especially for teens getting started in the workforce.

Even the editorial board of The Washington Post – which has supported past wage increases – has recently suggested Congress could put teens back to work by rolling back the $7.25 federal minimum wage.

It doesn’t cost $600 million to create jobs for teens. It only requires Congress to admit that the minimum wage hike shut the door on opportunities for many of America’s youngest workers.