(The Hill) — CEOs of the top 500 companies in the U.S. earned 324 times more money in 2021 than their employees, with executive compensation climbing $2.8 million in the past year on average as worker wages declined, according to an AFL-CIO report.
While the report found that real worker wages fell 2.4 percent in 2021 after adjusting for inflation, the average compensation for the top CEOs in the nation last year was $18.3 million, a more than $5 million increase over the past decade.
CEO pay, which includes salary, stocks, bonuses and nonequity incentives, rose 18.2 percent last year, much faster than the 7.1 percent rate of inflation.
Meanwhile, workers earned on average $58,260 last year, a roughly $1,300 increase annually over the past decade, according to the report.
The disparity between the average worker’s pay and CEO compensation shows how inequality has ballooned during the pandemic.
At Amazon, where workers unionized for the first time this year at a Staten Island location, CEO Andrew Jassy earned more than $212 million in 2021. That was 6,474 times the median pay of the average Amazon worker, according to the AFL-CIO report.
Apple CEO Tim Cook earned more than $98 million last year, 1,447 times higher than his employees’ median pay. Apple workers also unionized for the first time at a store location near Baltimore last month.
Netflix, which just reported better-than-expected earnings and slowed subscriber loss in its second-quarter results, has a slightly smaller disparity. CEO Reed Hastings collected more than $40 million in 2021, about 200 times higher than the median employees’ pay.
Other CEOs at the top of the list include executives at Expedia, JPMorganChase, Intel, Etsy and Adobe.