JPMorgan Chase is raising its wages, and wants the world to know why.

Some of the company’s reasons include wage stagnation, income inequality, a lack of quality education and insufficient training and skills development, according to a blog by company President and CEO Jamie Dimon for The New York Times.

The company will raise the minimum pay for about 18,000 employees to between $12 and $16.50, depending on geographic and market factors.

The federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, though states can adjust upward. The JPM raise is well above any of those minimums, however. 

From the blog:

A pay increase is the right thing to do. Wages for many Americans have gone nowhere for too long. Many employees who will receive this increase work as bank tellers and customer service representatives. Above all, it enables more people to begin to share in the rewards of economic growth.

And it’s good for our company, helping us attract and retain talented people in a competitive environment. While businesses, including ours, are understandably cautious when it comes to expenses, there are good expenses (investments that will pay off in the long run) and bad expenses (waste and inefficiencies). We have never hesitated to invest aggressively if we thought it would improve our long-term prospects.

JPMorgan Chase is not only increasing the pay, but also the benefits it provides its employees.

From the blog:

While a higher wage is important, so are benefits. Our lower-compensated employees receive a medical plan — subsidized up to 90% by the company — as well as dental, vision and other coverage. Many of these and other benefits, including a 401(k), pension, a special annual award, paid family leave, paid vacation and bereavement, have been increased in recent years. In total, the annualized value of all of our benefits for these employees is on average approximately $11,000 a year above their existing wages.

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