“I don’t want to be a tone-deaf CEO; while the company is doing fine, it is absolutely obvious that a big chunk of [people] have been left behind,” Dimon said. “Forty percent of Americans make less than $15 an hour. Forty percent of Americans can’t afford a $400 bill, whether it’s medical or fixing their car. Fifteen percent of Americans make minimum wages, 70,000 die from opioids” annually.
“If you travel around to most neighborhoods where companies live, they’re doing fine,” Dimon said. “So we’ve kind of bifurcated the economy.“
Dimon was speaking at an event at the bank’s New York headquarters to unveil a new $350 million program to boost job prospects for people in under-served communities. The J.P. Morgan chairman and CEO has frequently voiced concern about the declining labor force participation rate and the shortfalls of the educational system in preparing people for emerging roles.
Making progress against these issues involves companies working with local organizations to provide skills outside of the university context, he said.
Dimon called the education system “broken” and said his bank stopped giving philanthropic dollars to colleges years ago.
“Harvard and Princeton are not philanthropy,” Dimon said. “Helping these kids is.”