from Mark Perry at Carpe Diem, New BLS data show that for all ‘chief executives,’ the ‘average CEO-to-average worker pay ratio’ is less than 5-to-1
For the sample of 20,620 CEOs reported by the BLS, their average pay increased only 2.1% in 2015, from $216,100 in 2014 to $220,700 in 2015. In contrast, BLS data show that the average pay of all full-time workers increased by the same 2.1% last year to $48,320 from $47,320 in 2014. Therefore, the average worker last year saw an increase in their pay that was exactly the same increase in pay for the average CEO. Over the last decade, the average annual increase in CEO pay of 3.3% is only slightly higher than the average annual increase of 2.5% for workers in all occupations.
In contrast to the more sensational reports we’ll hear about in May from the AFL-CIO, there’s no “skyrocketing of CEO pay” when we consider all CEOs, and the Average CEO-to-Average Worker Pay ratio is less than 5-to-1, nowhere near the 400-to-1 ratio the AFL-CIO is likely to report in a few months for a small, elite group of CEOs that excludes 97.6% of all CEOs in the US. The chart above shows that the pay gap between CEOs and the typical worker has remained remarkably stable and flat for the last decade, and shows no upward trend that could be described as “skyrocketing.”
This is a common form of distortion in data used to enact policies under false pretenses. It is also a common case of journalistic malfeasance that such distortion are rarely countered is most mass market media.