The average CEO made 373 times what the average American worker did in 2014, according to an annual study by the AFL-CIO.
While that disparity seems extreme, it is less so than the disparity that existed in 2000 when CEOs were making 525 times more than the average worker. In 2013, CEOs took home 331 times what average workers were paid.
Brandon Rees, who works in the investment office of the AFL-CIO, said the corporate scandals of the 2000s, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, the 2008 recession, and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 all affected CEO compensation.
The labor union, in its annual pay watch report, had wanted to break down how much the average worker at each company included in the report made in relation to the chief executive.
The Dodd-Frank Act requires companies to include that information in annual filings. However, five years after the signing of the legislation, the regulations detailing how those figures are to be calculated still have not been finalized by the Securities Exchange Commission, Rees said.
Last year, the average CEO was paid $13.5 million, according to information that the union culled from proxy statements filed by public companies on the Russell Index. The average American worker was paid $36,134 in 2014, based on numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
In 1980, Business Week calculated the average chief executive was paid 42 times what the average worker made. Ten years later, the disparity was 85 times the average worker’s salary.
In 2009, the average CEO was paid $8.6 million, but that rose nearly 60 percent to $13.5 million in 2014. Over that same period, worker salaries rose almost 13 percent from $32,033 in 2009 to $36,134.