New Analysis Warns of Dismal Employment Prospects for Teens This Summer

From the Employment Policies Institute (EPI)

31 States and District of Columbia Still Have Jobless Rates Above 20 Percent

Today, the Employment Policies Institute (EPI) released a new analysis of Census Bureau data which shows that teen unemployment is still averaging above 20 percent in 31 states and the District of Columbia. This follows last Friday’s employment report showing that national teen unemployment rose last month to 23.8 percent.

Teen unemployment has now been above 20 percent nationwide for 40 months—the first time since the Bureau started tracking these numbers in 1948.

“Though the labor market overall appears to be recovering, the situation remains bleak for young adults as we approach summer,” said Michael Saltsman, research fellow at EPI. “Not only are teens facing more competition for entry-level jobs—minimum wage mandates at the state and federal level are making it more difficult for them to find work.”

Eight states raised their minimum wage at the start of the year, and now fifteen additional states are considering legislation to further increase wage rates.

Decades of economic research confirm that mandated labor cost increases reduce hours and employment for the least-skilled and least-experienced. Research from  Miami University and Trinity University finds that the burden falls hardest on young black males: Each 10 percent  increase in the minimum wage reduces their employment by over 6 percent.

“Unemployed teens are missing out on more than a paycheck—they’re missing out on the life skills needed to advance in the workforce,” Saltsman continued. “State legislators would be wise to avoid misguided wage mandates that threaten to make this another difficult summer for young people.”

Up-to-date unemployment rates for all states are available at a new website launching today, www.MinimumWage.com. The site allows users to compare teen unemployment rates among the fifty states. It also provides facts about the impact of the minimum wage, as well as answers to common myths. A research section features the latest EPI studies on the impact minimum wage increases have on employees, employers, and the economy.

Ranking

State Name

Unemployment Rate
**

District of Columbia

48.0%

1

California

35.2%

2

Nevada

32.1%

3

Idaho

30.5%

4

Missouri

30.4%

5

North Carolina

29.8%

6

Washington

29.1%

7

Rhode Island

29.0%

8

Florida

28.9%

9

Tennessee

28.5%

10

Oregon

28.5%

11

Georgia

27.9%

12

Colorado

27.0%

12

Kentucky

27.0%

14

South Carolina

26.9%

15

West Virginia

26.8%

16

Louisiana

26.5%

17

New York

25.9%

18

Texas

25.6%

19

Arizona

24.9%

20

Illinois

24.6%

21

New Jersey

24.1%

22

Michigan

23.5%

23

Mississippi

23.1%

24

New Mexico

22.3%

25

Connecticut

22.0%

26

Arkansas

21.7%

27

Alaska

21.6%

28

Indiana

21.4%

29

Hawaii

21.1%

30

Maine

20.2%

31

Vermont

20.1%

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.

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