Teen employment in Seattle area among nation’s lowest, says Brookings Institution. We knew that.

The Seattle Times reports this morning on a new study from the Brookings Institution.

The employment rate for teens 16 to 19 in the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue area fell from 45.8 percent in 2000 to 25 percent in 2012, according to Brookings.

That 20.8 percentage-point decline represents the 14th-deepest drop nationwide and puts Greater Seattle in the bottom third of metro areas for teen employment.

Times reporter Amy Martinez notes,

The study’s time span roughly coincides with Washington’s enactment years ago of a minimum wage above the federally mandated level, so it could add fodder to an already intense debate over a $15 wage floor in Seattle.

The study’s co-author explains why teen employment is important.

“Work experience as a teen is associated with success in the labor market down the line,” Ross said. “You don’t worry about teen unemployment because they need jobs to put food on the table. You worry about it because they may get off on the wrong foot in the labor market when they do need full-time jobs.”

In a presentation he prepared for the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisers, Kriss found teen employment statewide was far below the U.S. average. His report is available here.

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