The federal minimum wage will climb from $5.15 an hour to $5.85 an hour
later this summer, and by 2009 it'll rise to $7.25 an hour.
The first hike in a decade, it was approved by federal lawmakers in
late May and drew the usual cheers from proponents and jeers from
Supporters say the increase will help low-income workers; one group,
the Economic Policy Institute, says 12.5 million workers will feel the
effects of the hike. Critics say those on the lowest rungs of the job
ladder could lose their gigs.