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I think it’s fair and reasonable to pay teenagers a lower minimum wage than other employees who are adults. There are several reasons relating to age, experience, responsibilities, and income needs.
First, teenagers don’t need to earn as much as adults. Most of them live at home and go to school full time, so their expenses are low and they are working for extra income rather than survival. They also generally have fewer responsibilities than adults, so if they want to earn more money, they can work more hours than older people who already work full time and who have family responsibilities.
Secondly, a lower minimum wage for teenagers will create an incentive for employers to hire young people. For example, a low budget non-profit organization might not be able to afford an extra full time employee at the standard minimum wage, but they can find a teenager to work part time on the weekends at a lower cost, making that job creation more affordable. Young people need work experience to do well in the job market, and some employers are reluctant to hire young people, so wage incentives are a good option in that case.
Thirdly, teenagers generally have less experience and knowledge than older employees, so it’s fair to pay them less. A 16 year old working their first job will need more supervision and supervision than a 26 year old who has been doing that job for ten years. Therefore, it’s reasonable to pay the younger person less until they have gained more work or life experience.
The teenage minimum wage should still be set so that it’s reasonable and fair and does not exploit young workers. Once this is done, for each of these reasons, I think it’s a good idea to set a lower minimum wage for teenagers than for adult employees.