Since 1978,Â CEO pay has grownÂ 1,007.5% by one measure and a mereÂ 940.3% by another measure, the Economic Policy Institute reports. Average workers? Their pay has gone up just 11.9%. Thatâ€™s not all, either. The increase in CEO pay has dramatically outstripped the increase for other very high earners, which is positively modest at 339.2%.
The numbers start to seem a little more manageable if you drill down to more recent years, but the inequality is still striking:
CEO compensation has grown 52.6% in the recovery since 2009 using the options-exercised measure and 29.4% using the options-granted measure. In contrast, the typical workers in these large firms saw their annual compensation grow by just 5.3% over the recovery and actually fall by 0.2% between 2017 and 2018.
EPI also finds in the data an indication that no, CEOs arenâ€™t magical unicorns who are worth all that money on their own unique merit: â€śCEOs of large firms earned 5.4 times that of the average top 0.1% earner in 2017, up from 4.4 times in 2007. This is yet another indicator that CEO pay is more likely based on CEOsâ€™ power to set their own pay, not on a market for talent.â€ť
This blog was originally published at Daily Kos on August 20, 2019. Reprinted with permission.