In 2020, CEOs of S&P 500 companies received, on average, $15.5 million in total compensation.
The average S&P 500 company CEO-to-worker pay ratio was 299-to-1.
Passage of the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act to give workers freedom to organize a union will help restore balance between the pay of CEOs and working people.
CEO Pay Matters
The ratio of CEO-to-worker pay is important. A higher pay ratio could be a sign that companies suffer from a winner-take-all philosophy where executives reap the lion’s share of compensation. A lower pay ratio could indicate the companies that are dedicated to creating high-wage jobs and investing in their employees for the company’s long-term health.
More for them, less for us
2020 Average CEO Pay at S&P 500 Index Companies
CEO Pay by State
Too many working people across the country are struggling to afford the basics, much less save for college or retirement. Some states serve as stark examples of the incredible gap between CEOs and the hardworking people who make their companies profitable.
This map shows how the CEO pay at companies headquartered in each state compares to the pay of the average employee in the state.
Lower Median Employee Pay at Companies Headquartered in Right to Work States
“Right to work” is the name for a policy designed to take away rights from working people. These laws make it harder for working people to form unions and collectively bargain for better wages, benefits and working conditions.
Russell 3000 stock index companies that are incorporated in right to work states are more likely to have, on average, lower median employee pay and higher CEO-to-worker pay ratios than companies that are incorporated in union security states.
Russell 3000 Companies Headquartered in Right to Work vs. Free Bargaining States
|Average CEO Pay||Median Worker Pay||Average Pay Ratio|
|Right to Work States||$6,023,950||$66,804||173 to 1|
|Free Bargaining States||$6,156,528||$85,784||133 to 1|
CEO-to-Worker Pay Ratios Vary Significantly by Industry
The ratio of CEO-to-worker pay is highest in the consumer discretionary sector that includes companies like amazon.com where the median worker made only $29,007 in 2020. In contrast, the ratio of CEO-to-worker pay is lowest in the utilities sector, which has the highest levels of private sector unionization rates, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
2020 CEO Pay by Industry at S&P 500 Index Companies
|Industry||Average CEO Pay||Average Pay Ratio|
Join together. Fight back.
Build Back Better with Unions
The PRO Act will empower workers to exercise our freedom to organize and negotiate for better wages and working conditions. It will remove barriers to organizing, increase worker protections and strengthen the institutions that hold corporations accountable. It will repeal the “right to work” laws that lead to lower wages, fewer benefits and more dangerous workplaces.