The average CEO at one of America’s 500 biggest companies earned 361 times what their workers did last year, according to a new report.
In other words, it took chief executives only slightly longer than a day to out-earn an average worker’s yearly salary, says the AFL-CIO, a union group, which released its annual survey of executive pay on Tuesday.
The average pay for CEOs in the S&P 500 was nearly $14 million last year, about 6% higher than 2016. By contrast, rank-and-file workers earned $38,600, based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data. The AFL-CIO said that, when adjusted for inflation, rank-and-file pay has “remained stagnant for more than 50 years.”
Recently, the Securities and Exchange Commission mandated that all publicly traded companies disclose what they pay their CEO compared to the median amount they pay all workers—including part-time and foreign workers. The AFL-CIO compiled a database of how much CEOs at large companies earn compared to regular workers using this methodology.
Some of the numbers are striking: Weight Watchers CEO Mindy Grossman earned $33.4 million last year—nearly 6,000 times the $6,000 annual pay for a typical Weigh Watchers worker. That was the largest discrepancy among any large company, although there is a partial explanation. The AFL-CIO said that’s likely because of Weight Watchers’ large part-time workforce. (Weight Watchers confirmed this and added that Grossman’s compensation was unusually large last year as a result of an incentive payment.)
Do you work for a public company? You can check out how much your employer’s chief executive earned and how that compares to your colleagues on the AFL-CIO’s Paywatch website.