Putting Children to Work

Weaker state labor laws enable a heartless solution to the labor shortage.

BY JOHN MILLER | May/June 2023

This article is from Dollars & Sense: Real World Economics, available at http://www.dollarsandsense.org

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“Alone and exploited: Migrant Children Work Brutal Jobs Across the U.S.,”by Hannah Dreier, New York Times, Feb 25, 2023 (nytimes.com); Jennifer Sherer and Nina Mast, “Child labor laws under attack in states across the country,”Economic Policy Institute, March 14, 2023 (epi.org); “How Do U.S. States Measure Up,”Human Rights Watch, Sept. 13, 2022 (hrw.org): Jeylan  Mortimer, “The Benefits and Risks of Adolescent Employment,”National Institute of Health, Jan. 1, 2010 (nih.gov); Daniel Costa, “Threatening migrants and shortchanging workers,”Economic Policy Institute, Dec. 15, 2022 (epi.org); “Fact Sheet #14: Cover Under the Fair Standards Act (FLSA),”Wage and Hour Division, U.S. Department of Labor, revised July 2009 (dol.gov); “Education Pays, 2021,”Career Outlook,  U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2022 (bls.gov); “Child Labor in America: History Policy, and Legislative Issues,”Congressional Research Service, Nov. 18, 2013 (loc.gov); Tesnim Zekeria, “Deregulating child labor,”Popular Information, May 14, 2023 (popular.info); Federica Coco, Ella Hollowood, and Taylor Nicole Rogers, “U.S. child labour violations rise as business defy laws to fill roles,”Financial Times, Feb. 28, 2023 (ft.com); Adolfo Flores and Jennifer Calfas, “States Look to Ease Some Child-Labor Laws Amid Tight Market,”Wall Street Journal, March 10, 2023 (wsj.com); Katie Akin and Gruber-Miller, “‘Our kids are not for sale’: Unions protest proposed changes to Iowa child labor law,”Des Moines Register, Feb. 23, 2023 (desmoinesregister.com); The Editors, “Child Labor Overhaul creates new risks for teens without much new benefit,”Des Moines Register, March 5, 2023; Jason Lalljee, “Instead of paying adults more, some states might let companies hire kids as young as 14 to fill the labor shortage,”Insider, Feb. 13, 2023 (businessinsider.com); “Child Labor Bulletin 102,”Wage and Hour Division, U.S. Department of Labor, revised November 2016 (dol.gov).

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