Learning some lessons from the Brits about the minimum wage

Alex Adrianson at the Heritage Foundation’s “Insider Online” highlights some interesting information from across the pond about the impact of the government-mandated minimum wage.

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.


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