But Congress has also contributed by passing one of the most ill-timed minimum wage increases in history. One of the first acts of the gone-but-not-forgotten Nancy Pelosi ascendancy was to raise the minimum wage in stages to $7.25 an hour in 2009 from $5.15 in 2007. Even liberals ought to understand that raising the cost of hiring the young and unskilled while employers are slashing payrolls is loopy economics.[The Jobless Summer |Why only one in four teens is employed,July 1, 2011]Well, they may have a point about the minimum wage—the point is that if you can`t do more than $5.15 worth of work per hour, a minimum wage of $7.25 an hour means you can`t have a job at all.
Bit the even more important factor in labor economics is the Law Of Supply And Demand—no one will hire teenagers when they can get adult immigrants (or foreign students) cheaper. This goes double for black teenagers, who are, in fact, "hardest hit" by immigrant competition. And while the WSJ claims that "The great tragedy is that even discussing the role of the minimum wage in teen unemployment seems to be a political taboo," they themselves have tried to taboo discussion of immigration.