The JUST Report: Investing In American Workers At Every Stage Of Life

(Getty Images/Stephen Ziegler)

In his widely-read annual letter to investors, BlackRock CEO Larry Fink focused on the world’s aging population and their severe economic woes. He outlined a retirement crisis, noting that people are living longer, that the system set up to support elderly adults is not robust enough, and that 4 in 10 Americans don’t have $400 in emergency savings. According to the Aspen Institute and Morningstar, there are even more significant disparities across gender and race lines, even controlling for salary and tenure.

Helping workers prepare for their financial futures is a major JUST issue. And it’s not only a problem for older working Americans. Indeed many Gen X and Millennial adults in the workforce today worry about the costs associated with both caring for their parents as well as their children. 

Investing more in workers during their careers – through better financial planning, stock ownership and profit sharing, higher wages, training and better care options, for example – is now becoming a defining aspect of corporate leadership today. The benefits are clear. Companies participating in our Worker Financial Wellness Initiative (WFWI) – Chipotle, PayPal, Prudential, and others – have helped employees go from living paycheck to paycheck to owning a house and more; and as of 1/31/2024, our worker-focused index has outperformed the Russell 1000 Equal Weighted Index by 103.75% since 1/1/2018. A new study from BCG and Moms First underscores the clear business value in supporting childcare benefits.

Lastly, I see that an initiative we featured back in January – InvestAmerica – is also gaining momentum across corporate America (including among many high-ranked JUST companies) for the idea of creating an investment account at birth for children of employees that is seeded by the government and matched by corporations. Call me an optimist, but perhaps the gears of capitalism are beginning to shift in favor of American workers at every stage of life. 

Be well, 


Quote of the Week 

Photo: Courtesy of Intel 

“Solving climate change is becoming way more important. It’s becoming increasingly important. Maybe the only more exciting thing than solving climate change is AI, but it’s right up there on the list, it’s about how we’re leaving the world a better place for the next generation. As semiconductors become more important, what we do for sustainability in the semiconductor industry will become more important … We’re seeing energy consumption levels rise to power our big data centers to power AI. It really does matter at the end of the day.”    

  • Intel CEO Patrick Gelsinger speaking at a fireside chat with JUST Capital CEO Martin Whittaker at Intel’s 2024 Sustainability Summit. 

JUST In the News

JUST Capital highlights the Top Companies for Women in 2024 in a new report. 

Board Member Dan Hesse chats with David Rubenstein, co-founder of The Carlyle Group, on what he’s learned about leadership from interviewing many of the world’s greatest leaders. 

The International Business Times talks to Carol Cone about how businesses can bring greater success by aligning purpose with employee well-being. 


The Biden administration rolls out new rules around the Federal government’s use of artificial intelligence, USA Today reports

Vox weighs the claim of some economists that an AI explosion could cause unheard-of economic growth – 20-30% a year – or if that idea is a pipe dream. 

Must Reads

Morningstar reports that, over the past 4 years, the lowest earners have actually seen the highest wage growth of any workers, with a 12.1% wage increase, adjusted for inflation. 

Per the Washington Post, Boeing’s CEO and several other top executives will step down by the end of the year amidst the company’s current airplane quality control crisis. In the meantime, other companies are stepping up to try and revive supersonic planes for commercial travel. 

The Securities and Exchange Commission now faces a deluge of lawsuits after issuing its climate disclosure rule earlier this month. Experts argue the proposed disclosure laws are consistent with global trends in disclosure, ESG Dive reports

The Department of Justice is suing Apple over its “iPhone monopoly,” claiming that to keep consumers buying iPhones, Apple moved to block cross-platform messaging apps, limited third-party wallet and smartwatch compatibility, and disrupted non-App Store programs and cloud streaming services. CNBC has more of the story. 

The New York Times highlights an FTC report showing that large grocery chains took advantage of the pandemic, using supply chain shortages and pricing distortion to get suppliers to favor them over the competition. 

Chart of the Week 

This chart comes from Axios, and explains what many pundits have been struggling to grasp why many Americans think the economy is bad. The chart shows how the cost for basic items often not accounted for in CPI reports – like rent and grocery items – skyrocketed over the past several years. More inside. 

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