‘This is not sustainable:’ Analysis shows massive gap between CEO and workers’ pay is getting worse

Compensation for CEOs is growing at double the pace of ordinary workers'.


CEOs at the biggest corporations saw their pay rise a whopping 7% last year from the previous year, a rate that is twice what typical workers of those same companies saw, says a new study.

Commission by the Associated Press, the compensation study look at the pay data for 340 executives at S&P 500 companies who have serves at least two full consecutive fiscal years at their companies. Pay for CEOs at these companies rose to a median of $12 million last year.

Pay for typical workers at these same companies saw a median increase of 3%, less than half that of the growth for CEOs. According to the study, “it would take 158 years for the typical worker at most big companies to make what their CEO did in 2018, seven years longer than if both were still at 2017 pay levels.”

These increases mean that the financial inequality gap is widening.

CEOs for media companies are among the top of the rankings for compensation. Last year the top paid executive was David Zaslav of Discovery, the media company behind HGTV and the Food Network. Zaslav’s total compensation was valued at $129.5 million, a 207% increase from the previous year, the majority of which comes from stock options.

This is only the second year that the government has required companies to show the pay differences between CEOs and their typical worker. Now that there are multiple years it is possible to see how the gap in pay is trending.

The same company that analyzed the data for The Associated Press, executive compensation firm Equilar, also conducted a study of CEO pay for the New York Times. This study looked at compensation of the 200 highest-paid executives in the country versus the typical worker.

According the the Times, American workers were given a raise of just 84 cents last year. Meanwhile, the top paid executive of the list, Elon Musk of Tesla, received a pay package valued at $2.3 billion.


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