Op-Ed writer Preston Cooper is right that there is a jobs crisis facing teens [“Higher wages hurt young workers,” Opinion, Aug. 15]. But that crisis isn’t a result of the minimum wage.
If it were, we would see lower youth unemployment in states with low minimum wages and higher youth unemployment in states with higher minimum wages. But many of the highest youth unemployment rates are in states that hew to the meager $7.25-per-hour federal minimum wage.
How to submit a letter
Letters to the editor are an important part of the Opinion section. Our readers share a wide range of perspectives on current issues.
The minimum wage is not about unemployed youths; it’s about the more than 50 million U.S. workers who would receive their first decent raise in decades if the nation adopted a phased-in $15 minimum wage. But even for young workers — many of whom are working their way through colleges saddled with enormous student debt — the $13.50 minimum wage envisioned in Washington’s I-1433 would mean significant raises and a brighter economic future.
Rebecca Smith, Seattle, deputy director of the National Employment Law Project