FROM THE ILLINOIS POLICY INSTITUTE
Media contact: Daniel Anthony
(312) 607-4977 or email@example.com
Springfield considering increasing minimum wage to $10.25 – teens stand to lose big
CHICAGO (Nov. 12, 2012) – In the aftermath of the Great Recession, teenage workers have taken a huge hit. Only 27 percent of teens in Illinois had jobs last year – the lowest Illinois teen employment rate in the 42 years such data has been collected. The figures were worst for African-American teens in Chicago, where only 10 percent had jobs.
Unfortunately, lawmakers in Springfield are advancing plans to put thousands more teens out of work. Earlier this year, Illinois Senate President John Cullerton sponsored a bill (Senate Bill 1565) to increase the minimum wage to $10.25 an hour by 2015, a 24 percent increase from today’s $8.25 hourly rate. Illinois would then have the highest minimum wage in the nation.
The Illinois General Assembly will hear testimony on the question of whether or not to raise the minimum wage in Illinois some time next year.
About half (49 percent) of employees earning the federal minimum wage are teenagers or young adults age 24 or younger, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
An econometric simulation reveals that if SB 1565 passes, the number of employed teens would drop by 10,576.
"Not only would increasing the minimum wage hurt people who are already in the workforce, it would also skyrocket teen unemployment," said Ted Dabrowski, vice president of policy for the Illinois Policy Institute. “A higher minimum wage hurts the people it's intended to help and would negatively affect teens by locking them out of the workforce. Many teens work to pay for their education or to help their families, and when labor costs go up, they're the first to get cut.”
A new report by the Illinois Policy Institute shows why raising the minimum wage won’t work and explains that the best policy solution to quickly boost teen employment in Illinois would be to abolish the state and federal minimum wages. This move would encourage hiring from all age ranges, but would especially help teens, allowing them to achieve the work experience and on-the-job training they need for future career advancement.
View the full report at illinoispolicy.org/minimumwage
Media availability: Ted Dabrowski, vice president of policy with the Illinois Policy Institute.
Media contact: Daniel Anthony (312) 607-4977 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Illinois Policy Institute is a nonpartisan research and education organization dedicated to making Illinois a beacon for liberty and prosperity for all citizens. As a leading voice for economic liberty and government accountability, the Institute engages policy makers, opinion leaders and citizens on the state and local level by promoting free market principles and liberty-based public policy initiatives for a better Illinois. To learn more about the Institute visit illinoispolicy.org.