Friday, July 03, 2009

An invisible curriculum you learn from having a job

Some news from the U.S.

While Obama blames the unexpectedly steep rise in unemployment this month on the Bush administration, it could have more to do with the hike in the minimum wage.

The outlook for teen jobs is so bleak that it's weighing down the entire employment report, which the Bureau of Labor Statistics released on Thursday. The country is headed for an entire decade with no job growth. In June, the report showed unemployment climbed to 9.6% from 9.5%, and 467,000 jobs were lost, thanks in large part to the decline in jobs for teens.
Minimum wage increases raise the bar for entry-level employment. From 1997 until 2007, the minimum wage stood at $5.15. Congress raised it to $5.85 in 2007, to $6.55 last year, and in July it is scheduled to increase again to $7.25.

In June 2006, 7 million teens were working. Since the wage hikes and recession kicked in, 1.4 million of those jobs have disappeared. For African-American teens, the job market is even worse--their unemployment rate is 38%.

"For teens who are not in the work force, as many as 10 years later there are financial impacts to that. Ten years later, if you were not employed, you're lagging behind your peers," says Lopez Eastlick. "There's an invisible curriculum you learn from having a job."


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