The latest official statistics showed that youth unemployment rose by 66,000 to 965,000 in the three months to the end of December, the highest level since comparable records began in 1992.
The youth unemployment rate was 20.5%, compared with a general unemployment rate of 7.9%.
Well, as both Timmy and the ASI point out, it is not as though we didn't warn you—the National Minimum Wage prices low value workers out of jobs.
And for the reasons that I have outlined above, the National Minimum Wage "achievement" should be thrown as Gordon—along with the rotten fruits and turds—when he is finally driven out of Downing Street.
And the unemployed should be on the front line because, of course, the NMW has had another effect: someone whose labour is worth less than £5.80 per hour will now never, ever get a job. And that means that they cannot get either the experience or finance to better themselves—and that means that they are condemned to a life rotting away on benefits, a seam of potential destroyed.
Of course, the above was written a little time ago: the NMW now stands at £4.92 per hour for 18 to 20-year-olds and £5.93 for those 21 and above. Which means that, of course, anyone who's labour is worth less than those figures—plus, of course, 12.8% Employers' NICs—will never get a job.
This applies particularly, of course, in more depressed areas of Britain—which also have the highest levels of general unemployment—because £4.92 (or £5.93) per hour is much higher relative to other wages in the area. Just as with the National Pay Deal, the National Minimum Wage takes no account of the differences in living costs in the various parts of Britain.
And, naturally, the situation is only going to get worse when the 2% rise in National Insurance kicks in—it is, after all, a direct tax on job-creation at a time when the economy is struggling. Brilliant.
Of course, young people could work for free—and, luckily, on W4MP (a recruitment site for MPs' bag-carriers and political party wonks) you can see many, many opportunities for young people to do precisely that.
It appears that MPs and political parties view researchers as being utterly valueless.
Or is it simply that MPs and political parties want to be able to pay the going rate for these jobs, i.e. nothing, whilst preventing businesses from doing the same...? Yes, I think it is.
Anyway, Timmy sums up the solution to this problem very neatly...
Us bastard capitalist neoliberal pig dogs said that the effect of a minimum wage would be to push the lowest skilled people out of the employed, into the unemployed, part of the labour force.
We now have that minimum wage and in our first proper recession since we have had, we’ve got 20% unemployment among the least skilled, the young, as opposed to 8% more generally.
We said this would happen and lo and behold, it has come to pass.
The solution is therefore obvious: abolish the minimum wage.