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FMI and FI Urging Exemption for Youth Training Wage


The Food Marketing Institute representing the Nation’s grocery stores and the Food Institute advocating for the food industry, have jointly urged the House of Representatives to consider the consequences of eliminating the youth training wage.


Leslie Sarasin, president and CEO of the FMI and Brian Todd, president of the Food Institute reminded legislators that the proposal would reduce opportunities for teenagers to gain employment in their first jobs, traditionally at QSRs and supermarkets. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics approximately 1.7 million workers or two percent of the hourly-paid workforce are paid at or below the federal minimum wage


It is estimated that a third of teenagers of both genders currently work compared to approximately 40 percent in 2005.  According to representations made by the FMI and the FI, youth training is an important means of acquiring interpersonal skills, reliability and commitment required in later life.  The hours worked and the duties performed are rigorously constrained by federal and state regulations contributing to a valuable learning experience in a safe setting.


On Thursday June 18th, the House passed a Bill to raise the Federal minimum wage by a vote of 231 to 199, mainly along party lines. The Raise the Wage Act would progressively raise the Federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15.00 per hour by 2025.  In reality there is little chance that the measure will be taken up in the Senate.