But there has been fierce debate over whether a higher minimum wage will help workers -- or the struggling economy. Reams of studies can be cited on both sides. A landmark 1993 study on the subject found that when fast food workers had their wages raised from $4.25 to $5.05 an hour, overall employment at restaurants increased by 10 percent. But critics argue that even though a worker ends up with a higher salary from a higher minimum wage, they in fact lose out.
"Any minimum wage increase [is] not money coming out of the sky," James Sherk, senior policy analyst specializing in labor economics, at the right-leaning Heritage Foundation, said during AOL Jobs' "Lunchtime Live" series on Friday. "It's either going to be coming out of employers' pockets in the form of lower earnings, or more often from consumers' pockets from higher prices."
Also appearing on "Lunchtime Live" was Doug Hall, director of the Economic Analysis and Research Network at the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute and Joe Olivo, the owner of Perfect Printing, a small, commercial printing business located in Moorestown, N.J. Not surprisingly, the three had a lively discussion on the topic.
Take a look, and then tell us: Do you think raising the federal minimum wage will help workers?
(To watch the full video chat, go here.)
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