As Patrick Brennan notes below, most minimum-wage earners are young — they’re people with few skills who are just starting out. As they prove themselves in the job market, develop connections, accumulate raises, and so on, their earnings increase. But it’s hard for them to find entry-level jobs to move up from if the government forces employers to pay them more than they’re worth.
Between the current minimum wage (it was hiked from $5.15 to $7.25 in the late 2000s) and the economy, those in the 18–29 age bracket have an unemployment rate of about 13 percent. Younger teens hoping to make some money over the summer are having a hard time finding work too.
Apparently the president thinks that employers who aren’t hiring at $7.25 will hire at $9.