Does raising the minimum wage hurt teenage workers?
No. A University of California study found that even minimum wage increases implemented during times of high unemployment—such as the recessions of 1990-1991, 2001 and 2007-2009—did not result in job losses for teens or slow employment growth.
Check out that study here.
Critics like to suggest that the last increase in the federal minimum wage in 2009 caused a spike in teen unemployment. But as a 2011 NELP report demonstrated, teen unemployment rises faster than adult joblessness during every recession—whether or not the minimum wage goes up. This is because, with less experience and fewer skills than adults, teens are more likely to be unemployed, in general. They also exit and enter jobs more frequently than adults, and so are more likely to be unemployed at any given point in time. In addition, over the past decade and a half, teens have been facing greater competition for jobs from adult workers, especially older low-income workers, whose lack of economic security requires them to keep working beyond retirement age.