“Go as far as you can see; when you get there, you’ll be able to see farther.”
–J. P. Morgan
Over the long term, companies and institutions that serve a broad base of businesses cannot out-perform the economy. Banks, utilities and professional service firms have a shared interest in the economic performance of the cities, states and countries they serve, not just their clients.
Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, published his annual letter to shareholders last week. It is a worthwhile read for any economic developer or business leader, and those involved in the development of public policy. The focus on workforce and talent issues impacting the economy’s growth is notable. The letter touches on the growing skills gap, workforce program reforms, tax policies like the earned income tax credit, and several aspects of immigration.
This underscores our need to both grow the workforce and to increase productivity. I took note that 40 percent of STEM graduates, some 300,000 students at our colleges and universities, are challenged to stay within the United States to contribute to growth and productivity after graduation. I also took note that we must work very intentionally to increase overall workforce participation from historical lows, and focus on increasing access to economic opportunities for all.
Bankers are often vilified, and always have been, but they provide an objective view of the economy and can provide valuable advice for those of us working with their clients. While this letter is only one view, I would suggest careful consideration of its perspective for our future.
Columbus 2020 Update