While companies all around the country are cutting employees and wages, the Oklahoma City-based chain of Hobby Lobby stores announced yesterday that effective immediately it is giving raises to about 6900 full-time hourly employees, about a third of its workforce.
The store is raising its minimum wage for its full-time hourly employees to $10/hr (52 percent above the federal minimum wage of $6.55), and giving raises to other full-time employees that earn up to $13/hour. The pay raises will add up to as much as $600/month for some employees.
Last year, the company gave employees a permanent $.25/hour raise to help offset cost of living increases during the spike in gasoline prices.
Hobby Lobby plans to add 1,000 new employees in 2009 as it opens 25 new stores. The company had revenue of $1.8 billion in 2008 and expects to see revenue growth in 2009.
Hobby Lobby is a privately-held chain of more than 400 arts and crafts stores. The wage increases are also being applied to the chain's affiliated businesses, Mardel and Hemispheres.