April 17, 2014
by Stephanie West
Albany, NY – According to the National AFL-CIO’s 2014 Executive PayWatch website, the average CEO of a company based in New York State made $6,734,750 or 138 times more than the $48,897 earned by the average worker in the state. When compared to the earnings of minimum wage workers who make $8.00 per hour in New York State, the gap between CEO and worker pay jumps up to a 405:1 ratio.
Mario Cilento, President of the New York State AFL-CIO, said, "Corporate America should be just as concerned as struggling workers are with such staggering inequality. Decades of economic studies have shown that when workers earn more, the economy as a whole does better. The continued erosion of the middle class in New York and throughout the country is just not sustainable."
While many companies may argue that they can’t afford to raise wages, across the country the nation’s largest companies are earning higher profits per employee than they did five years ago. In 2013, the S&P 500 Index companies earned $41,249 in profits per employee, a 38% increase.
“CEO Executive PayWatch calls attention to the insane level of compensation for CEOs, while the workers who create those corporate profits struggle for enough money to take care of the basics,” said Richard Trumka, President of the National AFL-CIO.
Many of the CEOs highlighted in PayWatch head companies, like Walmart, that are notorious for paying low wages. Meanwhile, U.S. CEOs – the highest paid in the world – pocketed an average of $11.7 million in 2013. That means CEOs were paid 331 times that of the average worker and 774 times more than workers making minimum wage.
“We've made progress in New York, increasing the minimum wage last year, but there is much more work to be done including speeding up the phase in of future increases and indexing the level moving forward. In addition, New York added 145,000 union members in 2013, now representing 24.4% of the workforce, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics," Cilento added.