Some Teens Are Only Earning $4.25 an Hour
Nicole Dieker

When my daughter started high school and I joined the local PTA (then got nudged into becoming an officer of the same outfit), one issue immediately cropped up when the Latino Student Association came to us out of frustration. The local rentals had gone up significantly in price, and their parents were telling them to stop focusing on college prep activities and either get a job or get more hours for an existing job to help with meeting the new costs. (And we knew that this had to be hitting multiple immigrant communities, because the high school LSA typically was ahead of the curve on making issues known.)

That was 2007. Had we had today’s environment, rents would be higher still, but $12 and $13 an hour jobs would be easily available, even at spots teenagers were most likely to work.

The Federal Youth Minimum Wage is based on a concept of family that doesn’t apply anymore to most teenagers.

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