Only 27 percent o teens in Illinois had jobs last year – the lowest Illinois teen employment rate in the 42 years thisdata has been collected. Te gures were worst or Arican American teens in Chicago, where only 10 percent had jobs.As the graphic shows, the Great Recession clobbered teens with higher unemployment rates, ewer employmentopportunities and ewer hours worked – a perect storm.
37.08%29.33%16.20%24.35%Average employment rateas % of the populationAverage Unemployment rate8.3 hrs.6.65 hrs.Average hours worked per weekPre-recession years 2002-07Recession and post-recession years 2008-11
But another obstacle hurting teens is Illinois’ minimum wage o $8.25 an hour, which is ourth-highest in thenation and a dollar higher than the ederal minimum wage.With an hourly minimum wage o $8.25, employers will hire whoever can produce the most output or thatamount. When teens are competing with adults or minimum wage jobs, teens will be passed over or the job inavor o workers with more experience.
Teen unemployment in Illinois: the toll of the Great Recession and minimum wage
by ed Dabrowski, Vice President o Policy, Lawrence J. McQuillan, PhD, Chie Economist andJohn H. Klingner, Research Assistant