Teen unemployment rate is higher in Washington than in Idaho

As Jim Camden at the Spokesman-Review reports, yesterday the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee held a hearing on bills that would allow for a lower minimum wage for teenagers (SB 5421 and 5422). One part of the hearing stood out to me, and Camden notes it in his blog post:

Democrats on the committee criticized the proposals, and argued that unemployment rates for young adults are higher in Idaho.

This is not correct. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2014, the unemployment rate for those aged 16-19 in Washington was 23.2 percent. For those aged 20-24, it was 14.3 percent. In Idaho, the unemployment rate for those aged 16-19 was 14.7 percent and for those aged 20-24 was 9.6 percent. (The story is the same for 2013.)

We wrote a policy brief last year on the teenage unemployment rate in Washington.