Some support raise in minimum wage, others call it 'job killer' - New York News

Some support raise in minimum wage, others call it 'job killer'

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ATLANTA -

In his State of the Union address on Tuesday, President Barack Obama called for raising the federal minimum wage. The president says that step would help pull many working Americans out of poverty, but others warn it would cost jobs.

Charles Pearson, who is looking for work, said that he supports a hike in the minimum wage.

"I think that it's a good idea because try living off of $9 an hour. It's hard just to live off of $9 an hour, if your rent is $600 or $700 a month," Pearson said.

Chad Hale, the head of the Georgia Avenue Community Ministry, says its workers make at least $11 an hour -- well above the current federal minimum wage of $7.25.
      
"I would like to see it raised because I don't think that the lowest wages have kept up over the years. Workers have gotten further and further behind," said Hale.

But Hale acknowledges a potential risk.

"That causes me some mixed emotions because I don't want to see other people put out of work," Hale said.

That's the challenge faced by President Obama as he calls for raising the minimum wage to $9 an hour.

"Even with the tax relief we've put in place, a family with two kids that earns the minimum wage still lives below the poverty line. That's wrong," President Obama said on Tuesday.

But Kyle Jackson, the state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, warns that an increase would put more strains on small businesses.

"If the President wants to get serious about creating jobs, he should drop this idea altogether. It's not a job creator, but it's a job killer," said Jackson.

House Speaker John Boehner also opposes a minimum wage hike.

"When you raise the police of employment, guess what happens? You get less of it. At a time when the American people are still asking the question: where are the jobs? Why would we want to make it harder for small employers to hire people," Boehner.

In addition to his call to raise the minimum wage, the President says future increases should be automatically tied to inflation.

The Obama Administration says the proposed hike would increase the wages of about 15 million low-income workers across the country.

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