Why is that all one ever hears?
Some might suggest a conspiracy on the part of the liberal mainstream media. But it's more likely that few, if any, economic conservatives are touting a good, attention getting reason why raising the minimum wage is a bad idea.
Really. Think of one individual and one reason that individual touted which explained clearly and compellingly why raising the minimum wage is a bad idea.
Can't name that individual or reason?
That's not surprising. It seems that the superior economic message that conservatives have isn't being communicated well.
Raising the minimum wage is a bad idea. Here's an attention getting reason why: It hurts teenagers.
According to economist Stephen Moore, in 2013:
- 4.3% of all hourly workers (with hourly workers constituting 59% of the nation's workforce) earned at or below the federal minimum wage of $7.25.
- ~2.5% of all American workers earn the minimum wage.
- ~20% of hourly teenage workers earned the minimum wage. Many teenagers earning above the minimum wage previously earned the minimum wage.
- Teenagers are 5.4% of the U.S. workforce, but represent 25% of minimum wage earners.
As these data indicate, teenagers are generally the least-skilled workers in the labor force. They also represent a disproportionate percentage of minimum wage earners.
So, here's what happens. Increasing the minimum wage requires employers to pay higher wages for skills that aren't worth the cost, so employers don't hire teenagers. To wit:
- Between 2009 and 2013, the labor force participation among teenagers in 8 states with an $8+/hour minimum wage was 35.6%. The teenage unemployment rate was 27.2%.
- Among the 31 states without minimum wages above the federal minimum, the labor force participation rate among teenagers was 39.5%. The teenage unemployment rate was 21.3%.
Proponents of minimum wage increases routinely tout studies demonstrating little, if any, impact on employment, leading people to conclude erroneouly that hikes to the minimum wage have no negative effect on employment.
Those hikes do have negative effects. One is that those hikes hurt teenagers.
Let the discussion begin...
To read Stephen Moore's research, click on the following link:
"Young Workers Hurt Most by Minimum Wage Hikes."