Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Summer Job Drop: African American Teens Suffer as Unemployment Jumps

In June, African American teen unemployment grew to seven times the national rate, according to the U.S. Labor Department's monthly jobs report. The Employment Policies Institute warned that mandated wage hikes will only worsen this trend.

White teen unemployment is at its highest in two years, according to the Labor Department's statistics. While overall unemployment held steady at 4.5%, teen unemployment made a significant jump, rising steadily to 15.8%, its highest since September. Most significant, however, is that African American teen unemployment has jumped up to 31.2%.

Decades of economic research demonstrate that mandated wage hikes eliminate entry-level jobs, putting particular pressure on minorities and the low-skilled. A study from Cornell University shows that young African Americans typically bear almost four times the employment loss of their non- black counterparts after a minimum wage increase. Specifically, every 10% increase in the minimum wage results in an 8.5% decrease in employment for young black adults and teenagers. Research from Dr. David Neumark of the University of California, Irvine supports these results.


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