Top Pro & Con Arguments

Con

Teenagers and young adults may be shut out of the workforce if the minimum wage is increased.

Minimum wage workers are disproportionately young. According to the Pew Research Center, 16- to 24-year-olds make up 50.4% of minimum wage earners, [56] despite representing only 13.7% of the workforce as a whole. [57] 24% of minimum wage workers are teenagers. [56] Matthew Rousu, PhD, Associate Professor of Economics at Susquehanna University, wrote in a 2014 article that the federal minimum wage “has a devastating impact on teenagers” because firms will not pay many young workers with no skills or experience minimum wage, let alone a higher wage. [58] Casey B. Mulligan, PhD, economics professor at the University of Chicago, stated that the teenage employment index fell sharply after the minimum wage increase of July 2009 (a fall of about 8% in three months, while the previous drop of 8% took over a year): “This suggests that the 2009 minimum-wage increase did significantly reduce teenage employment.” [59] According to a study by Thomas A. Mroz, PhD, and Timothy H. Savage, PhD, for the Employment Policies Institute, “those experiencing unemployment at an early age have years of lower earnings and an increased likelihood of unemployment ahead of them.” [60]

Read More