JPMorgan Chase CEO says bank will raise minimum pay

NEW YORK, N.Y. – JPMorgan Chase says it will give raises to 18,000 tellers, customer service employees, and other workers over the next two years.

In an op-ed published Tuesday in the New York Times, JPMorgan Chase Chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon wrote that the bank will raise its minimum pay to a range of $12 to $16.50 an hour, depending on market and location factors.

Its current minimum pay is $10.15 an hour. Dimon also writes that the bank will invest more in training that helps workers get promoted to higher-paying positions.

Dimon wrote that wages for many Americans haven’t budged much in recent years and said the increase in pay will help the bank’s employees benefit from the growing economy.

“Too many people are not getting a fair opportunity to get ahead,” he wrote. Dimon also advocated expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit.

The federal minimum wage has been $7.25 an hour since 2009, but since early 2015, major U.S. companies including Wal-Mart, Target and McDonald’s have announced pay increases for at least some of their employees. On Monday, coffee chain Starbucks became the latest to do so.

Over the same period, pay for entry-level workers has also become a contentious political issue. President Barack Obama raised the minimum wage for federal contract workers to $10.10 an hour in 2015, and earlier this year, California and New York moved to raise their statewide minimum wages to $15 an hour. Voters in several states will also consider raising wages this fall.

A draft of the Democratic Party platform adopted over the weekend calls for the federal minimum wage to be raised to $15 over time. Republican candidate Donald Trump says he favours leaving the issue to the states.