To The Editor:
While new jobs data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics show that the teen unemployment rate is near historic lows, there’s a dark side to these numbers.
Just one in three teens either has a job or is looking for one. What’s more frightening is that nearly 11 million teens have either dropped out of the labor force or never entered it.
One factor in the declining teen labor force participation rate are increases in state and local minimum wages.
According to a study by authors David Neumark and Cortnie Shupe, wage hikes have been a “predominant factor” in the decline.
Policymakers concerned about preserving starter jobs for young and less-skilled job seekers should seek to lower barriers to employment, not create new ones.