The Teen Employment Crisis

The Teen Employment Crisis: The Effects of the 2007-2009 Minimum Wage Increases on Teen Unemployment

  • William Even, Miami University
  • David Macpherson, Trinity University

This study examines the employment impact of the 40 percent increase in the federal minimum wage that occurred between 2007 and 2009. Specifically, the authors study the effects of the higher wage on young adults aged 16 to 19. In those states impacted by all three stages of the minimum wage increase, employment for teens fell by 6.9 percent—even taking into account the effects of the recession. In sum, over 114,000 fewer teens were employed as a result of the federal wage increase.