JPMorgan is giving 18,000 US employees a raise because 'wages for many Americans have gone nowhere for too long'

JPMorgan will give 18,000 US employees a raise over the next three years.

The firm is raising its minimum pay for American employees from $10.15 an hour to between $12.00 and $16.50 an hour, depending on market factors, CEO Jamie Dimon wrote in an op-ed in The New York Times Tuesday.

“A pay increase is the right thing to do,” Dimon wrote. “Wages for many Americans have gone nowhere for too long.”

This follows Monday’s announcement from Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz that his company would raise employee wages by at least 5%.

As Business Insider’s Myles Udland noted, the news comes as multiple states are expected to hike the minimum-wage — but Starbucks’ preemptive wage increase also reflects competition for labour in the services economy. The same can be said of JPMorgan.

“It enables more people to begin to share in the rewards of economic growth,” Dimon wrote in the op-ed, noting that many of those who will benefit from the wage increase are bank tellers and customer service representatives.

He said the firm is also investing $325 million in “career-oriented” education through partnerships with educational organisations and $2 million donations to 10 states to help strenghten their education systems.

“Currently, about five million young people are neither working nor in school. Others are stuck in dead-end, low-wage jobs without the skills they can transfer to better paying careers. … This is a national tragedy and an economic crisis,” Dimon wrote.

The chief executive has become increasingly vocal about economic and political issues facing the US and the world.

He came out hard against the UK’s decision to leave the European Union last month, and in the company’s annual letter released in April he described multiple challenges, from infrastructure to long-term fiscal and tax issues, that he said must be dealt with.

“We have serious issues that we need to address — even the United States does not have a divine right to success,” he wrote at the time.

JPMorgan will release second quarter earnings on Thursday. The company is expected to earn $1.42 per share on revenue of $24.49 billion.

Read the full op-ed in The New York Times >>

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