Surprise! Washington, D.C. is Still the Worst Place for Teens to Find Employment

Townhall’s Political Calculations found that Washington, D.C. tops the list for the worst teenage employment/population ratio in the United States.  Based on their chart, it appears that only 15 percent of D.C. teenagers age 16 to 19 are actually working, and they have taken the lead with dismal statistics for many years.  Keep in mind that last year, D.C. fought tooth and nail to keep Walmart from building stores in the District by attempting to impose ridiculously inflated wages specifically geared to large retailers.  According to the District council members’ rationale, it was better to have no entry level jobs in D.C. than to have those that did not pay a “living” wage, although the District’s current minimum wage increased to $9.50 an hour on July 1.

Also in the bottom ranks are California and New York.  What state has the best teenage employment?  North Dakota, with more than half of its 16-to-19 year olds working.  If you recall, North Dakota’s economy is booming thanks to oil and gas development, and its overall unemployment rate is the lowest in the nation.

Of the five worst performing states and D.C., three of them have a minimum wage above the federal minimum.  Of the five best performing states, none of them has a higher minimum wage than the federal mandate of $7.25 an hour.  So maybe economic growth is the key to employment after all, not artificial wage hikes.

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  1. Santiago says:

    Wage hikes are always going to hurt the employment of those most affected by such hikes. Teens who typically are in those low-income positions naturally see demand for their labor fall as they become more expensive to hire. Simple economics, yet proponents of change in the minimum wage rather than price levels are ignoring it altogether!..

    • Interesting! A thought: Do you think transfer pricing is allowed to persist in the US because multinational companies would move elsewhere if they were forced to pay the full taxes, such that if you do the maths the country comes out at a loss? That would seem to me to be the only reason to keep allowing it. And if so, wouldn’t that imply that voters are irrational not to accept the tax breaks for these companies if they were presented as such, and that politicians are protecting them, paternalistically and with subterfuge, from their own judgement, by hiding the tax breaks in the grey area of transfer pricing?

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