More than 650 economists -- five of them Nobel Prize winners -- are calling for an increase in the federal minimum wage, which is now five dollars, 15 cents an hour.
Among the Prize winners are Kenneth Arrow of Stanford University and Lawrence Klein of the University of Pennsylvania. They say the value of the last increase, in 1997, has been "fully eroded."
Critics of a hike contend it would lead employers to cut jobs or move them offshore.
The economists say that a phased-in increase to seven dollars, 25 cents an hour would benefit the labor market, workers and the economy.
Colorado voters will decide next month whether to set Colorado's minimum wage at six dollars, 85 cents per hour, to be adjusted annually for inflation.