Black Teens Are Fired When the Minimum Wage Rises
Frank McCoy, BET | May 12, 2011
It is no surprise that Black teens, 16- to 19-years old, are disproportionately unemployed. At the Great Recession’s bottom, African-American teens had an unemployment rate of nearly 50 percent while the rate for all teens was 27.1 percent. In the weak post-Recession, many teens compete for jobs against down-sized adults with college degrees.
And economists William Even from Miami University and David Macpherson from Trinity University report that when a state, or the federal government, increases the minimum wage, Black teens are more likely to be laid off. The duo analyzed 600,000 data points, which the Employment Policies Institute says included “a robust sample of minority young adults unprecedented in previous studies on the minimum wage.”
The report focused on 16-to 24-year-old males without a high school diploma and found that for each 10 percent increase in the federal or state minimum wage employment for young Black males decreased 6.5 percent. By contrast, after the same wage boost, employment for white and Hispanic males fell respectively just 2.5 percent and 1.2 percent. (Read more)