Ikea, the Swedish home goods megastore, is raising the minimum wage it pays its workers at 38 U.S. locations to $10.76 an hour beginning Jan. 1, 2015, a 17-percent increase over the current $9.17-an-hour rate.

"The happier the co-worker, the happier the customer and the better the overall shopping experience," said Rob Olson, acting U.S. president for the firm.

The raise will affect about half of the 13,651 full- and part-time Ikea employees in the U.S.

Several states and municipalities have been upping their minimum wage rates this year, with Seattle's $15-an-hour rate the highest so far.