African American Teen Unemployment Jumps 12% – Seven Times the National Average

While the nation’s unemployment rate decreased slightly in September to 4.6%, the unemployment rate among African American teens shot up 12% to the shockingly high rate of 32.2%, according to the Labor Department’s September jobs report. The Employment Policies Institute (EPI) warns voters in AZ, CO, OH, MO, MT, and NV — who will vote on minimum wage hike ballot initiatives in November — that raising the minimum wage will destroy entry-level jobs and make it even harder for African American teens to find work.

Overall teenage unemployment continues to hover around 16%, while African American teen unemployment escalated to seven times the national rate. This translates into well over a quarter of a million (267,000) African American teenagers who are actively seeking employment but are having a hard time getting their foot in the door.

Decades of economic research conclude that mandated wage hikes eliminate entry-level jobs, putting particular pressure on minorities and the low skilled. A Cornell University study found that black young adults typically bear almost four times the employment loss of their non black counterparts after a minimum wage increase. Specifically, they found that a 10% increase in the minimum wage will result in an 8.5% decrease in employment for black young adults and teenagers.

“What these teens need is a healthy entry-level job market where they can start acquiring the skills necessary to move onward and upward in their careers,” said Michael Flynn, EPI’s Director of Legislative Affairs. “Unfortunately, minimum wage hikes put that vital first job even farther out of reach.”

Gatewayjobs.com, a website focusing on the crisis in entry level employment, provides regularly updated statistics detailing the employment market for entry-level employees and vital information about a host of government assistance programs designed to promote employment and economic success.

The Employment Policies Institute is a nonprofit research organization dedicated to studying public policy issues surrounding entry-level employment.

Employment Policies Institute via PRNEWSWIRE

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