Apparently there are 2.7 million jobs “missing” for youth. Never mind that the number is almost certainly wrong since it is impossible to measure that which does not exist…and also never mind that one of the studies cited in the article concludes that the aggregate cost to society of these 2.7 million unemployed youth is more than the entire Federal budget…instead focus on the prescription:

“The report called for urgent action to address the jobs shortfall for young people and said one way to do so would be through a major expansion of AmeriCorps, the community service program. Currently, more than 80,000 people serve in AmeriCorps, but the report said if that number of AmeriCorps positions was increased to 500,000 a year,”

And now never mind that even this (top-down, government centric) solution only solves about 20% of the youth unemployment problem…

There is an alternative solution that is super easy to implement and would almost certainly actually solve the problem: eliminate the minimum wage.

The reason there aren’t jobs for youth is that, in many cases, employers are forced (by minimum wage laws) to pay entry-level labor much higher rates than the market should actually support. This puts pressure on those with no or few skills – those whose labor is worth less than the minimum wage.

We don’t need government to solve this problem. We need government to get out of the way – TO DO LESS.

-JD Cross

Update: more on this topic here, including a graph that shows that as the minimum wage increases so too does youth unemployment.