Actually the article ran yesterday but I didn’t notice until today… My latest at FEE takes up the Gerald Friedman conundrum. An excerpt:
Turning to students: according to the Census Bureau, about 17 million are enrolled in high school. Assume that with no coercion and with plenty of entry-level jobs (thanks to abolition of the minimum wage), 7.5 million drop out and go to work. The census data also show some 19 million students enrolled in college or graduate programs. Let’s assume 10 million of them (a little more than half) don’t really belong there — and having worked as a college professor, I think that’s a conservative estimate.
Finally, consider that there are some 930,000 young adults (aged 16 to 19) who are currently unemployed, meaning they are actively seeking work but can’t get a job. Their unemployment rate is a whopping 16 percent, compared to 4.9 percent for the civilian noninstitutional population as a whole. Let’s assume that getting rid of the minimum wage would give these teenagers the same unemployment rate as everybody else.
Adding it all up, with rounding, we get about 19 million new workers entering the labor force. The existing civilian labor force is about 158 million. That means our policy changes would provide an immediate boost to the labor force of about 12 percent.