US Black Unemployment Jumps Suddenly, by Mark Perry.
[T]he jobless rate for black male teens (aged 16-19 years) increased to 40.1% in June from 28.1% in May.
Except for a slightly higher increase of 12.2 percentage points during the aftermath of the Great Recession, the 12 percentage point increase in June was the highest monthly increase in history going back to 1972 when the BLS starting keeping records for this series. One possible explanation for this spike would be the “midyear burst of minimum-wage increases on July 1.”
As Milton Friedman pointed out many years ago:
The minimum wage law is most properly described as a law saying that employers must discriminate against people who have low skills. …
The law says that here’s a man who has a skill that would justify a wage of $5 or $6 per hour (adjusted for today), but you may not employ him, it’s illegal, because if you employ him you must pay him $7.25 per hour. So what’s the result? To employ him at $7.25 per hour is to engage in charity. There’s nothing wrong with charity. But most employers are not in the position to engage in that kind of charity. Thus, the consequences of minimum wage laws have been almost wholly bad. We have increased unemployment and increased poverty.
Moreover, the effects have been concentrated on the groups that the do-gooders would most like to help. The people who have been hurt most by the minimum wage laws are the blacks. I have often said that the most anti-black law on the books of this land is the minimum wage law.
Let government handouts be responsible for social policy, but let people sort out their own employment situations as they see fit. Meanwhile, the jump in black unemployment cannot be good for the current racial tension in the US.