Press Release

Another Bummer Summer: Teen Unemployment Still at 24.1 Percent Going Into Summer 2013

Published on

Wage Hike Proposed by President Obama Will Only Worsen Ongoing Teen Employment Crisis

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In preparation for summer 2013, the Employment Policies Institute (EPI) released a new analysis highlighting the nation’s staggeringly high 24.1 percent teen unemployment rate. Teen unemployment has exceeded 20 percent for over four and a half years—a fact that calls into question the wisdom of passing additional minimum wage increases that would price more teens out of the entry-level experience they need.

EPI has also released updated state-by-state teen unemployment figures, which provide some geographic perspective on the teen unemployment crisis.

Michael Saltsman, research director at the Employment Policies Institute, released the following statement:

Despite some modest improvements, the nation’s teens are still on track to suffer through their fifth consecutive summer of high unemployment and difficult job prospects. As a result, many will miss out on the valuable career experience that comes from entry-level jobs.

This teen unemployment crisis should serve as a warning to President Obama, Senator Harkin, Representative Miller, and other federal and state legislators who want to raise the minimum wage. Economic research from Miami and Trinity University found losses of over 114,000 teen jobs following the last federal minimum wage increase between 2007 and 2009.

Summer jobs are the first rung on the employment ladder for most teenagers. Research also shows that part-time employment has a positive effect on future career earnings. Rather than keep these teens on the couch this summer, the President and similarly-minded legislators should focus on lowering the cost of entry-level employment, not raising it through a minimum wage hike.

According to EPI’s state-by-state breakdown, the worst 15 states for teen unemployment are as follows:

Rank

State

 Teen Unemployment Rate

1

South Carolina

33.2%

2

California

33.1%

3

Georgia

30.6%

4

Arkansas

28.9%

5

Illinois

28.6%

6

Washington

27.9%

7

Arizona

27.2%

8

Oregon

26.6%

9

New Jersey

26.5%

9

Colorado

26.5%

10

Virginia

26.2%

11

North Carolina

26.0%

12

Rhode Island

25.6%

12

Nevada

25.6%

12

New York

25.6%

To schedule an interview, contact Stephen Ford at 202-463-7650 or [email protected].

Learn more at www.epionline.org. The Employment Policies Institute is a nonprofit research organization dedicated to studying public policy issues surrounding employment growth. In particular, EPI focuses on issues that affect entry-level employment.

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