In 2018, CEOs of S&P 500 companies received, on average, $14.5 million in total compensation.
The average S&P 500 company CEO-to-worker pay ratio was 287 to 1.
The imbalance in our economy between the pay of CEOs and working people continues to be a problem.
CEO Pay Matters
This year marks the first where nearly all S&P 500 companies have disclosed the pay ratio between their CEO and median employee. This important disclosure did not come easy. Major corporations and industry groups lobbied long and hard to hide this valuable information from shareholders and the general public.
CEO-to-worker pay ratio data is important. A higher 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 ratio could indicate which companies were dedicated to creating high-wage jobs and investing in their employees for the company's long-term health.
More for them, less for us
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 hard-working people who make their companies profitable.
This map shows how the CEO pay of companies headquartered in each state compares to the pay of the average employee in the state.
The Trump Tax Laws Benefit CEOs
President Donald Trump and Republican leaders in Congress gave Big Business a giant tax cut last year—further widening the gap between the rich and the rest of us.
Top 10 Companies with the Most Stock Buybacks
A lower tax bill and new loopholes for corporations are only a couple of ways CEOs benefited from the new tax laws. Instead of investing in their employees—their greatest asset—companies are pursuing aggressive stock buybacks to boost short-term stock prices and executive pay. Ten of the largest U.S. companies combined to buy back more than a quarter-billion dollars of their own stock in 2018. Not surprisingly, the average CEO pay for these companies increased dramatically as well.
Big corporations have rigged the rules of our economy by helping pass a trillion-dollar corporate tax cut that rewards companies for offshoring jobs. The new tax law slashes the corporate tax rate from 35% to just 21%. It also reduces corporate taxes on overseas earnings and creates incentives to move real assets offshore. CEOs in some industries are responding to the corporate tax cut windfall by buying back shares of stock rather than investing in their own company’s future growth and the creation of good jobs.
Average S&P 500 CEO pay by industry
Lobbyists for wealthy corporate interests influence politicians to do their bidding. The result? Lower tax rates for corporations. Trade laws that favor corporations and are nearly impossible to enforce. And by supporting legislation that makes it harder for working people to earn a fair wage and negotiate a fair return on work.
Join together. Fight back.
In 2018, U.S. corporations bought back a record $1 trillion shares of their own stock, which can deprive companies of needed capital expenditures, research and development, and investment in their own employees.
Tell the Securities and Exchange Commission to end the executive pay abuse of stock buybacks.