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By Julia Glum
May 2, 2018
Jeff Bezos, Vanity Fair Oscar Party, Los Angeles, March 4, 2018.
Jeff Bezos, Vanity Fair Oscar Party, Los Angeles, March 4, 2018.
imageSPACE/SilverHub/REX—Shutterstock

Just how rich is Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos?

Well, let’s put it this way: According to Money’s calculations, it takes him just under nine seconds to earn what Amazon’s median worker does in a year.

This revelation comes courtesy of a new federal rule that requires public companies to disclose the pay ratio between their employees and executives. It’s led to some shocking disclosures in recent weeks, and Amazon is no exception. The commerce giant confirmed in an SEC filing last month that its median worker — the person who makes more than half of the staff and less than half of the staff — earned $28,446 in 2017. For comparison, Bezos’ annual compensation last year was over $1.6 million.

But although Bezos’ salary may technically be low, he’s not called the richest man in the world for no reason. His net worth is skyrocketing, mostly due to the fact that he owns about 80 million shares of Amazon stock.

Here’s where we have to do some math. According to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Bezos’ net worth on Jan. 1 was $99 billion. On May 1, it was $132 billion, meaning it rose $33 billion. If you divide that difference by the 120 days in that period, you find that he made $275 million a day. Divide that by 24 hours in a day to get about $11.5 million per hour, the equivalent of roughly $191,000 per minute or — the clincher — $3,182 every second.

(That’s enough to buy 26 Prime subscriptions or 379 paperback copies of Fifty Shades of Grey, Amazon’s best-selling book of all time. Every second.)

Now take that $28,446 sum we found out the median employee gets and divide it by $3,182 to find out how long it takes Bezos to pocket the same sum. There’s your answer: 8.93 seconds.

Amazon has more than 560,000 employees when you include full- and part-time workers, which the company did when it calculated its median employee pay. An Amazon representative told CNN that “in the U.S., the average hourly wage for a full-time associate in our fulfillment centers, including cash, stock, and incentive bonuses, is over $15/hour before overtime.”

However, several Amazon employees have recently come out to condemn the working conditions in the company’s warehouses abroad. In November, an undercover reporter for the Mirror found that workers in the United Kingdom weren’t allowed to sit, needed to package products every 30 seconds and dealt with timed bathroom breaks. This past March, about 1,000 Amazon employees in Spain organized a demonstration to protest their low wages.

Stateside, the company is preparing to build its second headquarters, nicknamed HQ2. The new offices will go in one of 20 cities Amazon selected from a wide applicant pool earlier this year. HQ2 will cost $5 billion and come with 50,000 high-paying jobs because, at this point, nothing can stop Bezos.

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The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us.

Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

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