While U.S. wage earners are struggling to keep up with inflation rates running at 40-year highs, a new report finds median pay for top CEOs was up 31% last year to $20 million.
Here’s the news: The analysis released Monday by Equilar looked at CEO compensation packages for the largest 100 U.S. companies by revenue. In addition to identifying the uptick in earnings, Equilar said it also discovered that increased CEO compensation had caused the CEO-worker pay ratios of these corporations to increase from 238:1 to a staggering 254:1.
Kyle Herrig, president of nonprofit watchdog croup Accountable, said the “massive” new executive bonuses were directly tied to price increases that have helped drive up both corporate profits and the earnings of those who oversee these companies.
“With corporate profits at their highest levels in over 50 years and their executives rewarding themselves with massive new bonuses, why did they need to raise prices so high on average customers,” Herrig said in a statement. “For companies that are doing exceedingly well and yet chose to raise prices excessively, it’s clear they’d rather pad their profits instead of keep prices stable for average families. It’s textbook corporate greed.”
What’s happening to non-CEOs: U.S. inflation hit 8.5% in March, the largest 12-month jump since December 1981, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Price increases on basic necessities and most goods and services have been driven up by bottlenecked supply chains, robust consumer demand and disruptions to global food and energy markets worsened by Russia’s war against Ukraine.
Those price jumps include groceries, up 10% over last March. Electricity costs are now 11% pricier than a year ago, and shelter is up 5% over the last 12 months.
According to a March Deseret News/Hinckley Institute of Politics survey, most Utahns are feeling it particularly as the rate of those consumer price increases more than doubles how fast average wages are going up in the Beehive State.
Annual wage growth for Utah workers has been hovering just over 4%, well behind inflation, which was particularly high in Utah and other Mountain West states. Inflation rates came in at 10.4% in March, according to the Labor Department. Nationally, real wage growth, which accounts for inflationary pressures, was -2.4% from March 2021 to March 2022.
Participants in the March polling logged their worries about household earnings simply not keeping up with rising costs, and most said they haven’t seen any meaningful increases in their paychecks over the past year.
While 38% of respondents said they’d seen a raise in the past 12 months, 62% said their income has stayed the same. And 75% of those polled said their pay was simply not keeping up with inflation.
Who’s at the top of the pyramid? According to Equilar’s analysis, these were the top earning U.S. CEOs in 2021:
- Patrick P. Gelsinger, Intel: $177,905,400.
- Tim Cook, Apple: $98,734,394.
- Hock E. Tan, Broadcom: $60,703,627.
- Satya Nadella, Microsoft: $49,858,280.
- Thomas M. Rutledge, Charter Communications: $41,800,961.