OKLAHOMA CITY — Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. has announced that it is raising its minimum full-time hourly wage to $17 effective Oct. 1.

In 2009, Hobby Lobby was one of the first retailers to establish a nationwide minimum hourly wage well above the federal minimum wage and has since raised its minimum wages 10 times over the past 11 years. In 2014, Hobby Lobby raised its full-time minimum hourly wage to $15 well before other retailers, a news release states.

“We have always worked hard to be a retail leader when it comes to taking care of our people,” said Hobby Lobby founder and CEO David Green. “From closing our stores on Sundays and at 8 p.m. the rest of the week, to providing some of the best pay and benefits in the retail industry, we are thankful that we are able to share our success with our valued employees and provide time for rest, family and worship. These investments allow Hobby Lobby to attract and retain a great group of associates who in turn help provide the wonderfully unique shopping experience enjoyed by our many loyal customers.

“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,” said Green.

In addition to providing industry-leading pay, Hobby Lobby also provides benefits to eligible employees, including medical, prescription, and dental plans, 401(k) with company match, flexible spending plan, long-term disability benefits, life insurance, vacation pay, personal paid time off benefits with annual buyback, holiday pay, chaplain services and an employee discount.

Hobby Lobby was founded in 1972 and currently operates 923 retail stores stocked with more than 80,000 arts, crafts, hobbies, home accent, seasonal, and custom framing products.