Terms and Data Sources
The data from the AFL-CIO Executive Paywatch database draws from company proxy statements that are filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The database includes data for some 3,000 corporations, including most of those listed in the Russell 3000 Index. Industry classifications are based on Global Industry Classification Standard codes.
The compensation year denotes the company’s fiscal year as reported in proxy statements. For companies with more than one CEO during the year, the highest-paid CEO is included in the database. Pay ratio data and median employee pay are displayed as disclosed by each company’s proxy statement. CEO pay ratio may not equal the displayed CEO’s total compensation due to differing company methodologies in calculating pay ratios.
The AFL-CIO’s calculation of the average CEO compensation is based on the AFL-CIO’s analysis of 496 companies in the S&P 500 Index with available pay data as of June 2022. The average CEO-to-worker pay ratio of S&P 500 companies is calculated as the arithmetic mean of the company’s disclosed pay ratios.
For companies without available pay ratio data, the CEO’s pay is compared to the average annual income earned by U.S. workers, which is from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ ("BLS") National Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates. State average annual pay data for private sector workers is also from the BLS’ Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages.
The 2021 percentage changes in inflation and worker wages are according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' January 12, 2022 Real Earnings News Release of average hourly earnings for U.S. private sector workers (year-over-year changes as of December 2021).
CEO Name and Company: The name of the CEO and company affiliation is derived from the proxy statement. The highest-paid CEO is displayed for companies that had more than one CEO during the fiscal year (or both CEOs are listed if their compensation was equal).
Salary: Salary paid to the CEO for the fiscal year.
Bonus: Bonus paid to the CEO in the fiscal year.
Value of Stock Awards: The value of the stock awards granted in a fiscal year as listed in the summary compensation table. Stock awards are in the form of stock or restricted stock that is either time vesting or performance vesting.
Value of Option Awards: The value of stock option awards granted in a fiscal year as listed in the summary compensation table. Stock options are the right to purchase a specified number of common stock at a stated exercise price for a specified period of time.
Nonequity Incentive Plan Compensation: This is compensation earned pursuant to nonequity incentive plans. This includes incentive plan awards that are not stock or equity. Incentive plans generally provide for compensation intended to serve as an incentive for performance to occur over a specified period.
Change in Pension Value and Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Earnings: This is the increase in actuarial value to the executive officer of all defined-benefit pension plans and earnings on nonqualified deferred compensation plans over the past year.
All Other Compensation: The value of perquisites and other benefits provided to the CEO. This could include personal use of company cars and airplanes, country club memberships, tax reimbursements, insurance plans or payments to savings plans. Payments to savings plans are part of change in pension value and nonqualified deferred compensation earnings.
Total Compensation: Total compensation is determined by adding the above components: (1) the salary, (2) the bonus, (3) all other compensation, (4) the value of stock and option awards, (5) the value of nonequity incentive plan compensation and the change in pension values, and (6) nonqualified deferred compensation earnings.