The number of child workers has increased by 37% in the U.S. between 2015 and 2020, and there has been a 69% increase in children being illegally employed since 2018. There is a lack of comprehensive data about child labor injury rates across the 50 states. Some states also lack adequate child labor laws, including a lack of exclusion from high-risk industries like agriculture and work hour limits.
In this study we investigated the existing child labor laws by state and designed a child labor law (CLL) scale to compare reported injury rates from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to the CLL scale. We hypothesized that states with better child labor laws would have lower reported injury rates in child and youth workers.