2slugs pointed out that in June all the drop in employment was teens as employment of over 25s actually rose. He was right, but as I looked at the data what it shows is this seems to be a normal cyclical pattern. In the 1982, 1990 and 20000 recessions employment growth for over 25 year olds either remained positive or barely turned negative while teen employment fell over 10% in those recessions. Interestingly, in the 1982 and 1990 recessions there were minimum wage increases but in 2000 the minimum wage was unchanged. So you have three recessions were teen employment fell over 10%. Twice there were minimum wage hikes and once there was no change in the minimum wage. This minimum wage was in the mid-1990s, when there was no recession and teen employment remained positive. So what is the causal relationship here,
do recessions cause teen employment to fall or is it minimum wage hikes?
Also note that while we are getting widespread comments about the current minimum wage hike creating teen employment so far ,if this is a recession scenario, teen employment is actually stronger than it was in previous cycles while adult employment growth appears the same as in previous cycles.
But this data sure seems to make it as clear as mud whether minimum wage hikes or economic cycles causes teen employment to fall.
I’m just trying to be honest about what the data says. But, obviously there are a lot of people out there that are less than honest about the causal relationships here.
P.S. the grey line at the top of the chart is the minimum wage charted on the right axis. It is just there so you can see when the minimum wage hikes happened.