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persistant probiem of youth unemployment will become even more serious.
The scope of teenage joblessness has been widely recognized, and I have studied the trends in unemployment closely. In the first quarter of this year, the unemployment rate for workers 16-19 vears was 14.7 per cent-nearly four times the rate for adults. The situation was particularly distressing among black youth: nearly one out of three black teenagers in the labor force was unable to find a job. Moreover. the jobless problem among young people both black and white has been deteriorating over the last decade. Prior to 1960, unemployment among young workers was roughly two to three times the adult rate; however, since the mid-1960's, jobless rates among teenagers have been four or five times greater than that of older workers. Black youth have always carried a disproportionate share of the unemployment burden, and it has become even heavier in the last decade. For example, the ratio of the black youth unemployment rate to that of their white counterparts rose from nearly 2 to 1 in 1963 to about 3 to 1 in 1972. Moreover, there is little prospect of relief in the immediate future: although the number of white teenagers entering the labor market in the 1970's will be substantially lower than during the 1960's, the black teenage population will continue its growth at the same rapid rate which prevailed in the 1960's. The result will be severe job-finding problems for minority group youth unless positive steps are taken.
Several developments over the last decade have contributed to the vouth unemployment problem including the substantial expansion of the youth population. However, in citing various reasons, I do not think one should overlook the possibility that past changes in F.L.S.A. may have had an adverse impact on job opportunities for young people. A number of studies by economists have shown that tħe progressive extension of minimum wage coverage to retai] trade and service industries may have had an adverse impact on teenage employment.
Teenage employment is heavily concentrated in retail trade and service establishments. For example, over three-fifths of all young workers held jobs there in 1972. These are areas in which average wages are typically below the average for the economy as a whole and where extension of FLSA coverage would have had a noticeable impact. Although it is difficult to measure the impact on teenage employment, it would seem that raising labor costs may have provided a disincentive for employers to hire teenagers. Young people searching for their first job typically have no vocational training or experience. They need extra training and more instruction than an older worker, and all of this is costly to employers. Raising the wages of these inexperienced workers may become too costly to the employer, and job opportunities for young workers may be adversely affected. Given this situation, the implication is clear: teenagers occupy jobs in indutries where a further extension of coverage and an increase in the statutory minimum might further diminish employment opportunities for young people.
To help forestall such a prospect, I urge the adoption of a special entry wage for young workers. The Administration proposal for a youth minimum wage would meet this need. The case for an entry wage rests mainly on the incentive it would give employers to help
pave the way for young people to begin productive careers in the working world. However, at the same time safeguards would have to be built into a proposal of this nature because some employers would undoubtedly use a differential minimum wage to replace some of their higher-wage adult employees with lower paid teenagers. To prevent abuse, both a limit on the number of workers paid less than the minimum wage as well as an explicit time period during which the entry rate could be paid are necessary, as suggested by the Administration. Some risk will still remain, but I personnally thing it should be accepted. The unemployment situation among teenagers has been deteriorating for years, and there appears to be no prospect of significant improvement in the foreseeable future, unless some positive action is taken now. I believe an entry wage for young people would be a step in the right direction. Sincerely yours,
ANDREW F. BRIMMER. In any event, we think the need to do something to reduce youth unemployment is so imperative that the youth differential concept should be tested now. Its effects can be assessed when minimum wage legislation is again reviewed. Dr. James S. Coleman, author of the highly regarded study on school integration, views minimum wage laws as barriers to young people who are struggling to establish roles in the adult world. He said:
“The new goal must be to integrate the young into functional
-Psychology Today, February 1972. We agree. Youth unrest, which is so politically, socially, and economically expensive to this country, is largely attributable to the difficulty young people have in making the transition into the complex and competitive adult job world. Increased opportunities for work experience would help considerably in making this transition particularly for youths with incomplete educations. For that reason, we view the youth differential proposed in our substitute as an extremely promising way of helping youths get across the minimum wage barrier.
The Committee bill in sum certainly provides a bleak outlook for many of the nation's working poor as they face higher prices for food, products, and services; possible curtailment or abandonment of services including the closing of the neighborhood grocery and the loss of their only way to work--the bus; higher taxes due to increased burden of state and local governments; and most important, even face the potential loss of their jobs.
PETER H. DOMINICK.
Calendar No. 283 H. R. 7935
[Report No, 93-301 ]
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
JUNE 7, 1973 Read twice and referred to the Committee on Labor and Public Welfare
JULY 6, 1973 Reported, under authority of the order of the Senate of June 30, 1973, by
Mr. WILLIAMS, without amendment
AN ACT To amend the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to increase the
minimum wage rates under that Act, to expand the coverage of that Act, and for other purposes.
1 Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representa2 tives of the l'nited States of America in Congress assembled,
SHORT TITLE; REFERENCES TO ACT
SECTION 1. (a) This Act may be cited as the “Fair
5 Labor Standards Amendments of 1973”.
6 (b) Whenever in titles I, II, and III of this Act au 7 amendment or repeal is expressed in terms of an amendment
8 to, or repeal of, a section or other provision, the section or
9 other provision amended or repealed is a section or other 2
abor Standards Act of 1938 (29
SES IN MINIMUM WAGE
M WAGE RATE FOR EMPLOYEES
ED BEFORE 1966
a) (1) (29 U.S.C. 206 (a) (1)) is
than $2 an hour during the period
74, and not less than $2.20 an hour
-, except as otherwise provided in this
M WAGE RATE FOR NONAGRICUL
ES COVERED IN 1966 AND 1973
n 6 (b) (29 U.S.C. 206 (b)) is ng out “Every employer” and insert1) Except as provided in paragraph , (2) by striking out " (other than an
section (a) (5) applies)”, (3) by inabor Standards Amendments of 1973"
4) by striking out paragraphs (1) rting in lieu thereof the following: ss than $1.80 an hour during the period
“(B) not less than $2 an hour during the year
“(C) not less than $2.20 an hour after June 30,
“(2) This subsection does not apply to
“ (A) any employee to whom subsection (a) (5) applies,
“(B) any employee who was brought within the
purview of this section by the amendments to section 18
made by the Fair Labor Standards Amendments of
“(C) any Federal employee employed in con
nection with the operation of a hospital, institution, or 11 school described in section 4 (r) (1). 15. Subsection (a) (1) applies to the employees described in
16 subparagraphs (B) and (C).”
INCREASE IN MINIMUM WAGE RATE FOR AGRICULTURAL
SEC. 103. Section 6 (a) (5) (29 U.S.C. 206 (a) (5)) is
20 amended to read as follows:
“(5) if such employee is employed in agriculture,