Increased Minimum Wage Claims Its First Victims

When Congress decided to raise the minimum wage, many of the Democrats claimed it would help those heads of household trying to support a family making only minimum wage. That claim is a long used and many-times debunked canard. Very few, if any, heads of household are making minimum wage. And if they did their jobs well enough, they wouldn't be making minimum wage for long.

All raising minimum wage has ever done is make entry level jobs for teens go away. With the raise of the minimum wage last year, a second increase coming next month, and yet another following next year, is it any wonder many teens are finding that their prospects for summer jobs are evaporating?

While this problem isn't universal, it is widespread. Here in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire a number of summer jobs are going unfilled. Part of the cause is the US government's tightening of visas for foreign seasonal workers, upon which much of the tourist and farm industry depends. The rest is many of the teens either already have jobs or are uninterested in working this summer. And some jobs will go unfilled because the prospective employers aren't willing to pay the new minimum wage for someone with little or no experience.

Finals week is over; summer is here. And thanks to misguided politicians, your teenager is more likely to be sitting in front of the television than waiting tables or scooping ice cream.

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.

So rather than easing poverty the increased minimum wage may have made it worse, closing the door to the low-income and minority teens looking for their first jobs. That's no way to help these kids get out of poverty.

And the Law of Unintended Consequences strikes again...or was it unintended? That's something better asked of the Democrats in Congress.


  1. Unemployment is up but when I look at all the high paying jobs posted online (& yes low paying) I just cant help but think many people dont realize the number of employers hiring and the salaries they are offering...not minimum wage either:


    Does anyone HAVE to be unemployed?? I dont get it

  2. Not necessarily. My son, who will be turning 14 in a couple of days, started his first job last summer making well above the minimum wage. But our area is a bit unusual because it relies so heavily on the tourist trade and farming. Jobs in those industries are going unfilled because there aren't enough kids to go around to fill them. However, what I'm not seeing are listings for the rest of the state for jobs that are usually listed. There were plenty of them last year, but not this year. It makes me wonder if it's the economy or the boost in the minimum wage, or both.


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