One of Twenty Facts About U.S. Inequality that Everyone Should Know

CEO pay

Recent decades have seen a clear increase in the difference between CEO compensation and that of the average worker in manufacturing or “production.” CEOs in 1965 made 24 times more than the average production worker, whereas in 2009 they made 185 times more. This chart shows how this ratio between the compensation of CEOs and production workers took off in the 1980s.

U.S. CEO pay in relation to the average production worker's compensation

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Source: Source: Economic Policy Institute. 2011. More compensation heading to the very top: Ratio of average CEO total direct compensation to average production worker compensation, 1965-2009. Washington, D.C.: Economic Policy Institute. May 16, 2011. <>.