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The Impact Of Inflation On Teen Employment

By Dan Sanchez writing for Fee


Inflation is causing a rise in teen employment because employers can make use of the lower wage teens often demand.


From the article,

Perhaps the only silver lining of price inflation is that it blunts the impact of price floors like the minimum wage, which is a floor for the price of labor. The minimum wage is one of the prime culprits for teenage unemployment. Teenagers are at the beginning of their careers, so they haven’t had a chance yet to develop the skills necessary to do the kind of work that would bring in very much money for their employers. This puts a relatively low ceiling on the wages that an employer can afford to pay them. If the floor set by the minimum wage is higher than the ceiling set by a teen’s skillset and economic reality in general, that doesn’t leave any room for the teen to get a job. And that is highly unfortunate for the teen, because job experience is the most effective way to develop the skills necessary to earn higher wages. So the minimum wage is like knocking out the bottom rungs of the economic ladder. And contrary to common rhetoric, the economic ladder can be enjoyable and fulfilling to climb, even at the lower rungs and even for teens. Take for example Makayla McDonald, a 17-year-old in Montgomery, Ala. who will be returning to a lifeguarding job she first got a year ago and who was interviewed by the Journal said she enjoyed her job. Had the “Fight for $15” minimum wage campaign prevailed in Alabama, Makayla would have lost her summer lifeguarding job, depriving her of all the above benefits.

Read the full article at Fee