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Lokvani Team

CEOs made 299 times more than their average workers last year.

The difference between CEO and median employee pay grew in 2020 despite the Covid pandemic and ongoing relief efforts.

The average S&P 500 company CEO made 299 times the average worker's salary last year, according to AFL-CIO's annual Executive Paywatch report. Executives received $15.5 million in total compensation on average, marking an increase of more than $260,000 per year over the past decade. At the same time, the average production and nonsupervisory worker in 2020 earned $43,512, up just $957 a year over the past decade.

Both average compensation and pay ratios grew in 2020 during the pandemic. Executives' average total compensation increased more than $700,000 last year while CEO-to-worker pay ratios increased from 264:1 in 2019.

"This is consistent with what we've been seeing year to year," Liz Schuler, AFL-CIO secretary-treasurer, said in a press conference with reporters Wednesday. "Inequality, the imbalance in our economy, is clear by this report that the pay of CEOs and working people continues to be a major problem in this country."

The highest-compensated CEO in 2020 was Chad Richison of Paycom (PAYC), who received more than $200 million in salary and stock awards that vest over time. Other companies with executives topping the list of highest-paid CEOs include General Electric (GE), Regeneron Pharmaceuticals (REGN), Hilton (HLT), T-Mobile (TMUS), Nike (NKE), Microsoft (MSFT) and Netflix (NFLX).


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