Hobby Lobby raises minimum wage to $17

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Hobby Lobby announced Monday that it's bumping up its minimum full-time hourly wage to $17 starting next month.

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The increase will take effect by Oct. 1 to help employees as the holiday season approaches, Hobby Lobby CEO David Green said.

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“Because this year has presented so many challenges to our employees, we are very happy that we are able to provide pay increases to thousands of our associates before the Christmas season,” he said in a statement.

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Hobby Lobby says it was one of the first retailers to establish a nationwide minimum hourly wage well above the federal minimum wage in 2009.

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Since then, the company says it has raised its minimum wages 10 times. In 2014, Hobby Lobby raised its full-time minimum hourly wage to $15.

The privately owned arts and crafts retailer operates 923 stores across the country.

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