May 12, 2023

On today's show, Adrian and Ethan talk about child labor.

About 160 million children ages 5 to 17 around the world are engaged in child labor, working in jobs that deprive them of their childhood, interfere with schooling, or harm their mental, physical, or social development. Nearly half of them — 79 million children — work under hazardous conditions.

Child labor is back in the U.S. The Labor Department’s wage and hour division recorded a 37 percent increase in 2022 in the number of minors employed in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act, which outlawed most child labor way back in 1938 and imposed strict limits on the rest. The 37 percent increase was over the previous year.

To ease labor shortages, lawmakers in some states have introduced legislation to loosen child labor laws, including in some of the most dangerous jobs.