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Why JPMorgan Chase’s minimum wage hike isn’t as generous as it sounds

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon is probably expecting a pat on the back from the working masses today after his op-ed in the New York Times announcing that he’s raising the minimum wage for 18,000 of the bank’s employees.  But he shouldn’t hold his breath. 

It’s not that I disagree that entry-level employees need to be paid above poverty wages. It’s that I don’t buy his framing that he’s made the decision because it’s the “right thing to do.” His promise is to raise the minimum pay to between $12 and $16.50 an hour “depending on geographic and market factors”  over the next three years.

 But Dimon’s announcement really just means that JPMorgan Chase will be complying with the law.  The minimum wage is set to increase  in several cities and states over the next few years anyways (to $15 in New York by 2018 or 2021 depending on location, and to $15 in California by 2022, and a federal $15 minimum wage increase is gaining momentum this election cycle.KD