Washington's minimum wage in a freeze for 2010 - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Washington's minimum wage in a freeze for 2010

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YAKIMA, Wash. -- The Department of Labor and Industries is announcing that Washington's minimum wage will stay the same in 2010, that's $8.55 an hour.

Jean Schide, co-owner of Essencia Bakery, employs 15 people most are paid minimum wage. As a small business owner she says payroll is a balancing act.

"You have to walk that tightrope of paying enough so people can live and being able to you know hire more people," said Schide.

Last year Washington's minimum wage jumped over 40 cents an hour, making $8.55 the highest minimum wage in the country.

"You know for me as a single independent person it's manageable, but it's definitely not the American dream," said Pat Hurst

But, this year's minimum wage freeze may be a good thing for many small business owners and their employees.

"That allows us to employ more people and keep the same people that we have at the same amount of hours that they have which very critical to them," said Schide.

The Department of Labor and Industries sets the minimum wage, it isn't going up because the consumer price index hasn't gone up in the past 12-months. In other words, the cost of goods has stayed the same.

Many are just happy to have jobs, regardless of the wage.

"Ya, I'm not complaining, I got what I got and I'm gonna stick with it because it's great," said Schide.