by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Do minimum wage laws, as basic economics teaches, make some low-skilled workers unemployable? Consider this chart, which shows that around 2004, the 16- to 17-year-old unemployment rate began to rise dramatically in Great Britain.
Note that around 2004 Great Britain for the first time established a minimum wage for 16- and 17-year-olds. Prior to that, there were minimum wages for adults over the age of 22, and also a minimum wage for those 18 to 22, but no minimum wage for 16- and 17-year-olds. And, as Mona Chalabi reports, the 16- to 17-year-old rate has risen steadily since then.