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Turning America into Europe

The Europeans have crafted a regulatory environment in their labor market that grants all kinds of protections and gauranteed benefits at the expense of new or unskilled workers trying to join the workforce.  We are doing the same thing:

This year, it's harder than ever for teens to find a summer job. Researchers at Northeastern University described summer 2007 as "the worst in post-World War II history" for teen summer employment, and those same researchers say that 2008 is poised to be "even worse."

According to their data, only about one-third of Americans 16 to 19 years old will have a job this summer, and vulnerable low-income and minority teens are going to fare even worse.

The percentage of teens classified as "unemployed"—those who are actively seeking a job but can't get one—is more than three times higher than the national unemployment rate, according to the most recent Department of Labor statistics.

One of the prime reasons for this drastic employment drought is the mandated wage hikes that policymakers have forced down the throats of local businesses. Economic research has shown time and again that increasing the minimum wage destroys jobs for low-skilled workers while doing little to address poverty.

According to economist David Neumark of the University of California at Irvine, for every 10 percent increase in the minimum wage, employment for high school dropouts and young black adults and teenagers falls by 8.5 percent. In the past 11 months alone, the United States' minimum wage has increased by more than twice that amount.

Posted on June 9, 2008 at 06:43 PM | Permalink


To be fair, Ive worked in management in fast food and I can tell you that more than 1/2 of the teenagers that show up claiming to want work are in fact unemployable. Many show up for an interview in what seems to be sleepwear, or workout gear. They are often late, ( unless parents drop them off) and once hired, they take more time and energy, just to get them to do the job we train them for than its worth.

I have worked with exceptional teens, I fully admit. But we can see how outstanding they are within minutes of the start of an interview. And the best and brightest teens are often poached out from under us with a better offer within a few weeks anyway ( and frankly, they should be! )

I cannot discount the innane regulations and minimum wage nonsense that ties employers hands, but I also have to point a finger at an education system that does nothing to teach kids about the reality of working life, or even life in general. That tells them thier self esteem and how they feel at the moment is far more important than a work ethic, or drive for real success in life, and how to go about achieving it.

Posted by: John III | Jun 10, 2008 12:29:32 PM

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