In 2020, median worker pay increased by only 2%, while top-paid CEOs saw a 14 percent increase.
In the aftermath of the COVID-19 epidemic in 2020, the top 200 CEOs in the United States saw their yearly salary rise by just over 14% on average, while median workers at their companies saw their pay rise by just under 2%.
For The New York Times, Equilar, a business that aggregates and curates corporate leadership data, conducted a study of the nation’s 200 highest-paid CEOs, which was unveiled on Friday. According to the survey, company leaders’ income continued to rise dramatically during the epidemic, but the median employee’s wage remained unchanged.
The average raise for executives was 14.1 percent, while the average raise for workers was only 1.9 percent. CEOs earn almost 274 times more than the average worker. Last year, the inequality gap widened, rising to 245 times in 2019.
According to Equilar’s survey report, “median total compensation for Equilar 200 CEOs was the highest in the study’s history, at $19.7 million.”
However, there was a significant pay disparity between the top 200 CEOs’ lowest and highest paid executives. While the highest-paid executive (Alexander Karp of data-mining firm Palantir) was paid $1.1 billion, the lowest-paid executive (Marc Holliday of SL Green Realty) was given $15.2 million.
“The top CEO got a compensation package worth more than $1 billion for only the second time in the study’s history (and for the second consecutive report). In 2020, eight CEOs earned compensation worth more than $100 million — “there had never been more than two $100 million-plus awards in the study’s history,” according to the paper.
On Thursday, Dan Price, the CEO of card processing company Gravity Payments, published a link to the report on Twitter, emphasizing the disparity. In 2015, the executive became viral after he reduced his personal remuneration from $1.1 million to just $70,000 in order to meet his company’s minimum pay $70,000.
“The next time you hear about firms hiking prices to ‘pay workers,’ remember that they’ve increased CEO pay by millions each year while giving workers nearly nothing,” Price said.
The report came just days after ProPublica reported on the taxes of the nation’s 25 richest people, finding that many had paid little. This is a brief summary.