Job seekers

Gains continue for job seekers as Hobby Lobby and T-Mobile raise minimum wage

A number of large chains are not waiting for the federal government to raise wages; they are taking matters into their own hands now.

Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., announced Tuesday that it will increase its full-time minimum hourly wage to $18.50 per hour effective Jan. 1, 2022.

But it’s not a first for the arts, crafts and home decor giant, which was one of the first retailers to establish a national minimum hourly wage well above the federal minimum wage in 2009, and has since raised its minimum wage 12 times over the past 13 years, according to a statement. The last wage increase was in 2014, when Hobby Lobby raised its minimum full-time hourly wage to $15.

“We have a long history of supporting our employees,” Hobby Lobby founder and CEO David Green said in a statement.

“In 1998, we made the decision to close our stores on Sundays, and at 8:00 p.m. the rest of the week, to give employees time for rest, family and worship.”

Hobby Lobby also offers a range of benefits to eligible employees, including a medical, prescription and dental plan, 401(k) with company matching, a flexible spending plan, long-term disability benefits. , life insurance, vacation pay, paid personal time on benefits with annual buyout, paid vacation, chaplaincy services and employee discounts.

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But cellphone retailer T-Mobile was slightly ahead of the curve, pledging on Friday to raise pay for its employees nationwide to a minimum wage of at least $20 an hour. This now applies to all employees, regardless of role or full- or part-time status, according to a statement.

Company CEO Mike Sievert said in a statement that it was a “small but important step” to ensure its “strong rewards-based employee culture” truly extends to everybody.

“It’s also about getting more great team members to join us, which we’ve seen happen before. It’s a job seeker’s market, which means competition to keep and find the top talent is competitive – and as a great employer, we like it that way.”

Sievert also said the company saw a huge increase in job applications after rolling out the pay rate increase in its customer service group a few months ago, from 300 job applications per week to 4,000.