"There is no more urgent challenge than the need to create more inclusive economic growth."
In the United States, 2015 marked a dubious milestone when, after generations as the economic majority, middle-class families officially became the minority. While the average American’s income has risen by more than a third since 1970, most of the gains have gone to upper-income households. According to the Pew Research Center, middle-class families have seen their median incomes decrease by 4% since 2000, while lower-income households – those families already scrambling to make ends meet – have seen their incomes fall by 9%.
Changing these trends is both a moral and an economic imperative for the entire nation, and the private sector has an obligation to rise to the challenge. Some may ask whether a global bank has a role to play in addressing these challenges. Our belief, quite emphatically, is yes.
JPMorgan Chase is determined to be part of the solution. Over the next five years, we will deploy $1 billion toward programs focused on expanding access to opportunity and advancing economic mobility around the world. Unlike traditional models of corporate philanthropy, we are relying on robust data and research – from our proprietary data on the finances of nearly 50 million U.S. households to analysis of real-time labor market dynamics in countries throughout Europe, Asia and beyond – to target our investments toward solutions that work. And we’re going even further by leveraging the unique assets of our firm – our people, expertise, technology and relationships – to make an impact on a scale few organizations can match.
Our efforts are focused in areas where we can best put our capabilities to work. We are connecting job seekers to a tangible chance to get ahead by helping them gain the right skills for today’s high-quality jobs. We are opening the doors that have too often been shut to minority-owned and community-based small businesses to enable them to become engines of job growth and economic vitality in their neighborhoods. And we are using our unrivaled insights into consumers’ finances to help low- and moderate-income households become more financially secure.
Creating more opportunity for more people to fully participate in—and, critically, to share the rewards of—economic growth is good for our communities and it’s good for our company. With this publication, we invite you to learn more about our firm’s efforts and those of many other talented and committed individuals, organizations and partners working to advance these aims.