Analysis: Top CEO pay skyrocketed more than 20 percent in 2011

By Stephen C. Webster
Tuesday, June 5, 2012 13:42 EDT
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A man lights a cigar with a $100 bill. Photo: Shutterstock.com, all rights reserved.
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America’s best paid executives received raises of more than 20 percent in 2011 over the prior year, according to an analysis of CEO pay published by Bloomberg News.

Bloomberg’s list, which examined Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) data on the compensation of the 50 top earners in corporate America, found that on average the executives raked in 20.4 percent more than in 2010.

Those bonuses are on top of a 27 percent pay increase for America’s top executives in 2010, as incomes finally began returning to pre-recession levels. The jump in executive pay for 2010 was considered one the largest in history, and followed two years which saw marginal declines in executive compensation.

Despite the surging CEO pay, American workers weren’t so fortunate. While the average CEO pay grew out of control in 2010, worker pay increased just 2.1 percent. Median household income also fell more than $3,000 between 2000 and 2010.

The AFL-CIO, America’s largest umbrella group for labor unions, noted that in the 1980s, executive pay peaked at about 43 times the average worker’s pay, but in 2011 CEOs were compensated, on average, 380 times more than workers.

“This double-digit increase in average CEO pay for the second consecutive year shows just how disconnected the top 1 percent is from the 99 percent,” the group said.

This video is from Bloomberg News, published Tuesday, June 5, 2012.


Photo: Shutterstock.com, all rights reserved.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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