Inequality and Poverty

CEO vs. typical worker pay

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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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