Inequality and Poverty

CEO vs. typical worker pay

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A weekly presentation of downloadable charts and short analyses designed to graphically illustrate important economic issues. Updated every Wednesday.

Economic Snapshot for March 31, 1999


CEO vs. typical worker pay

Average chief executive officer (CEO) pay averaged $3,565,000 in 1997, approximately 116 times the annual salary of the typical worker and up from $1,783,000 in 1989. As of 1997, with stock options factored in, 10% of CEOs in the United States had pay packages in excess of $20,000,000. The figure below illustrates how CEO pay has ballooned in comparison to the median worker’s salary since 1965.

Source: The State of Working America 1998-99 and The New York Times, April 9, 1998.

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