Minimum Wage Increase To Boost Up Some Of Poorest U.S. Workers

Fast-food waitress Fawn Townsend knows exactly what she's going to do if her salary goes up with Tuesday's increase in the federal minimum wage.

The Raleigh, North Carolina, resident says she'll start saving for a car so she can find a second job to make ends meet.

The 24-year-old says she -can't- pay all her bills earning minimum wage.

Many lawmakers, along with advocates for low-wage workers, are celebrating the first increase in the federal minimum wage in a decade. Yet many acknowledge that raising it from five-15 an hour to five-85 will provide only meager help for some of the lowest paid workers.

About one-point-seven-million people made five-15 or less in 2006.

Poverty and the minimum wage are becoming a major issue in the Democratic presidential race. John Edwards of North Carolina and Barack Obama of Illinois are emphasizing raising the minimum wage during their tours of impoverished areas.