Hobby Lobby has opted to increase pay for full-time employees to USD18.50 per hour, starting January 1. According to the company, it is one of the first retailers to implement a nationwide minimum wage that is much higher than the federal minimum wage.
“We have a long track record of taking care of our employees,” said Hobby Lobby founder and CEO, David Green. “In 1998, we made the decision to close our stores on Sundays, and at 8:00 p.m. the rest of the week, to provide employees time for rest, family, and worship. We’ve also worked hard over the years to provide the best pay and benefits in retail, which has allowed us to attract and retain an outstanding group of associates to serve our devoted customers.”
Moreover, the retail company will be providing full benefits to eligible employees.
“We are thankful for our success as a company and thrilled to begin the new year by sharing that success with thousands of our employees,” said Green.
The pay increase follows ongoing inflation within the U.S., as consumer prices rise 6.8%, an almost 40-year high. Economists anticipate inflation to remain at its current level for a couple of months and slowly even out throughout 2022.
Federal minimum wage has not been updated from its current USD7.25 an hour since 2009. Nevertheless, many retailers, as well as fast-food chains, have boosted wages to USD15 or more per hour following the pandemic and recent labor shortages.
“The living wage is closer to $18 an hour,” said Molly Kinder, fellow at Brookings Metro and a co-author of the new study on wages for frontline workers.