WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - Keith Ellison, congressman for Minnesota, on Wednesday released a study that found CEOs in the United States, on average, are paid 339 times more than their workers.
Pay ratios of Fortune 500 companies range from 2:1 at the low end to nearly 5,000:1 at the high end, the report says.
The study says that in 188 of the 225 companies a single CEO's pay could be used to pay more than 100 workers. For example, at McDonalds the CEO's annual salary could be used to pay the yearly wages of 3,101 workers making the median pay.
The pay difference is so huge that median-salaried employees in all but six companies would need to work at least for 45 years to earn what their CEO makes in a single year.
'The CEO-worker pay ratio is a dramatic indicator of our country's extreme economic divide. Beginning in the late 1970s, income inequality in the United States began to spiral upwards. However, this inequality was not driven by falling wages at the bottom of the income distribution,' the study says.
'In fact, incomes for most Americans have been stagnant for four decades. Instead, this increase in income inequality was almost entirely driven by soaring compensation levels for the top 1% of income earners. Because about two-thirds of the top 1% of American households are headed by corporate executives, examining CEO pay is one key to understanding the takeof in income inequality in the United States.'
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