Unexpectedly Intriguing!
October 20, 2011

In one picture:

1,946,000 fewer teens and young adults between the ages of 15 and 24 were counted as having earned income of any kind between 2006 and 2010, falling from 27,360,000 in 2006 to 25,414,000 in 2010.

During that time, the population of teens and young adults rose by 710,000, from 41,702,000 to 42,412,000.

The income range of \$7,500 to \$9,999 saw the biggest increase in the number of teens and young adults for any of the income ranges shown on our chart, growing by 299,000 in those four years.

Meanwhile, the number of teens and young adults with total money incomes of \$15,000 or less fell by 759,000, despite that dramatic increase in the number of teens and young adults with annual incomes between \$7,500 and \$9,999.

The federal minimum wage in 2006 was \$5.15 per hour. An individual earning the federal minimum wage in 2006 and working full time for the entire year (or 2,080 hours) would have earned \$10,712.

In 2010, the federal minimum wage had risen to \$7.25 per hour. An individual earning the federal minimum wage in 2010 and working full time for a full year would have earned \$15,080.

The net decline of 759,000 people between the ages of 15 and 24 for total money incomes of \$15,000 or less represents 39% of the entire decline in the number of teens and young adults with incomes between 2006 and 2010.

But that statistic hides the fact that a total of 1,058,000 incomes for teens and young adults disappeared below the \$15,000 level between 2006 and 2010. That figure represents 54% of the total decline in the number of individuals Age 15-24 with incomes from 2006 to 2010.

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