South Dakota Lowers Minimum Wage For Young Workers


Maybe it is time to recognize that raising the minimum wage is bad for young and low-wage workers:

PIERRE, S.D. — Gov. Dennis Daugaard has signed a bill to lower the minimum wage for youth in South Dakota to $7.50 per hour, his office announced Friday.

This is despite approval last fall by voters of an increase in the minimum wage to $8.50 an hour, with annual adjustments.

The bill passed by the Republican-controlled Legislature also says the new rate for those under 18 isn’t subject to annual adjustments, like the rate for adults.

It’s pretty obvious what motivated the change. Young workers who lack skills and experience aren’t terribly value in the labor market. Raising the minimum wage to $8.50 per hour, with annual adjustments upward, only serves to price them out of the labor markets.

The real shame here is that the state didn’t roll back the minimum wage for all workers, because I’m certain there are adult workers who are light on experience and skills who have been similarly priced out of the labor markets by this law.