Interesting points we have here. I guess as @InsaneBoredGame and @Taro_Tanako said, about adults having to compete with the children as well. But in my opinion, there's another side to this as well.
Before we get to the point of 'kids taking adult's jobs', there is something I need to clarify. You see, as I have looked into this situation further, it seems that what @Kip has said regarding child labor laws is the norm and indeed, kids are allowed to work under specific regulations.
This means that the initial assumption of the thread is gone due to factual errors. But is there a point to continue the discussion because of this? In my opinion yes, because the argument still stands.
So, let me rephrase the argument:
Should kids be allowed to work as part of their education?"
Note that I'm putting an emphasis on 'education' here. Basically, do you think kids should have a real working experience as part of their education?
Let's backpedal for a moment, our current society tends to discourage kids from working and focus on their studies instead. In effect, our current education system (which I think is pretty similar throughout the world), tend to focus more on preparing kids for the next grade to the next grade until they hit senior year of HS in which they focus on getting to a good college.
Once they get to college, finally they get the chance to learn how to work. But there's a problem: not all college can readily accomodate their students for the working environment. In fact, on some level, they do have to compete with adults for work experience when they want to apply for internships or even McJobs.
The result? Well, as everybody has seen: college graduates are out of work. So we finally get to the point about the adults trying to find jobs thing. However, the unemployment problem is a highly complicated problem and I doubt it could be solved by one or two simple solutions that are available, which is wrong.
Now, let's take a moment to take deep breath, exhale... relax...; now... why are college graduates are out of work?
Well, I'm not an expert in this so let me just quote from this article here:
Job openings increase 7%—but why is unemployment still so high?
The Job Openings and Labor Turnover (JOLT) report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics is a good forward indicator of the labor market
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (or BLS) compiles data from a random sample of private non-farm businesses. Job openings are one piece of the report. The other is hires versus separations. To be considered a job opening, the business must have a specific position in mind, be ready to employ someone in the next 30 days, and be actively soliciting candidates for that position.
Job growth is the biggest driver of the economy right now, and the unemployment rate is driving the Fed’s quantitative easing program. The activity and decisions of the Fed are probably the biggest driver of returns in the financial sector right now.
3.9 million job openings in August, up 6.9% year-over-year
The 3.9 million job openings are roughly flat with the upward-revised July number but still above the 3.6 million average since BLS began compiling the index in 2000. In early 2000, the index peaked at close to 5.2 million, and it bottomed at 2.2 million in mid-2009. Most sectors reported increases in openings—even the government. There are still 3.1 unemployed jobseekers per job opening.
Implications for mortgage REITs
Given that unemployment is stubbornly high, and the labor force participation rate is the lowest since the Carter Administration, it seems strange to see higher-than-average job openings. One of the biggest features of the job market has been a mismatch between skills available and skills required. Part of this trend is due to education—factory workers need to be more tech-savvy than ever before. Another consideration is lack of mobility—workers can’t relocate to where the jobs are. Why? Negative equity. This traps workers in areas where there’s a surplus of labor available and depressed real estate values.
Here's the tl;dr version:
Job openings are increasing but no one's taking the jobs!
Mismatch between skills available and skills required. Reason given for why this is, is because even blue collar workers tend to require more skills than ever before (more "tech-savvy" as the article put it).
Lack of mobility -- workers can't relocate to where the jobs are. Reason given is because of 'Negative Equity'. That is, workers can't afford to move to where the jobs are and thus are trapped in a place where they are not needed.
Again, as I've said before, this is a complex problem and there is probably not a simple answer to this. But here's why I think getting kids to work might help:
To help with #1: As the article said, the reason why we don't see people getting employed off the street is because they are all unqualified. Why are they unqualified? It's not that they are unskilled, it's just that their skills don't match with the demand.
So, where can they learn the proper skills? Well by getting the job experience in whatever job is available right? Or maybe they can go to school for it?
But first, let's ask this question: Why do people work? I mean, sure that they need to put food on the table but why do you build a bridge even though all you need is your salary? Isn't it because people need your skill to build the bridge?
This is why I think the current schooling system (and some college as well) is a huge waste of time. Because rather than actually teaching people skills by putting them in real work situations, the system instead teaches them by having them complete artificial assignments. In the end, the students are not accomplishing any real work, but rather, the only work they do is try to get a good grade.
Thus, many people are graduating out of college without the required skills for work. Instead, they graduate with skills required to do college assignments. This then becomes a problem because employers often are faced with applicants who can't do basic problem solving in a particular work because they are inexperienced with the problem.
The reason why this is, is problem #2. Because people can't afford to go to where the jobs are, they have to apply for anything that is available where they live to survive. The fact that not all college are located near where the job are is also a major issue.
And this is my opinion on this: If people are being put into work earlier, as kids, wouldn't they be able to take the jobs that are available in where they live?
What I mean is, by allowing kids to work at an earlier age as part of their education, they then would be able to take on the available jobs when they grow up to be adults because now they have the experience and the skills to work according to what the market demands. This is accomplished by giving them jobs that nobody is taking or qualified for. Also, given the fact that kids don't demand as much as adults in regards to salary, this means that despite employing skill-less kids, the companies won't lose as much as not having anybody filling the position
Also, I know that this won't immediately solve the unemployment problem within one generation but I believe that it will have a positive effect in the future. Because, as these kids matured they now have the right experience and skills to work in what is demanded where they live. Not only that but also it's probably a good way to introduce kids to many kinds of jobs and the working world earlier in life.
In conclusion, I believe that our current schooling system doesn't teach people how to work and with it, the necessary skills to do the work. Thus, by allowing kids to work in jobs that are available locally as part of their education, we are properly preparing the right people for the work that are available. Lastly, I also think that it may have a positive effect in alleviating the unemployment problem in the future.