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ATLANTA (AP) - The federal minimum wage goes up 70 cents today, from $6.55 to $7.25 an hour.
Backers of the increase say it's long overdue for millions of the nation's working poor.
But some economists say the increase could prolong the recession, by forcing small businesses to lay off the same workers that the pay hike was meant to help.
Minimum wage advocates counter the wage bump will keep more working poor afloat, and say more increases are needed to help stimulate consumer spending and strengthen businesses in the long run.
Atlanta resident Marilynn Winn, who earns $6.75 an hour driving cars between auto auctions, worries the pay boost could lead her boss to make job cuts, especially aimed at older workers like herself.
Still, she said she'd be grateful for the raise if she gets to keep her job.