C.E.O.-worker wage gap widens during pandemic
Although a hot job market pushed up pay for low-wage workers, the average pay gap between those workers and their C.E.O.s widened even more last year.
The median pay for workers at companies that tend to pay low wages last year was up by 17 percent, to $24,000, a jump that more than doubled the rate of inflation, according to a study out this morning from the Institute for Policy Studies, a left-leaning think tank.
Still, those rising wages did not outpace C.E.O. pay gains, which rose by 31 percent at those same companies, to an average of $10.6 million. “We do have to acknowledge there was some good news last year,” Sarah Anderson, the lead author of the “Executive Excess” study, told DealBook. “But this could have been a time when companies used rising profits to level the pay playing field. Instead, we haven’t seen a very big shift in pay equity.”
C.E.O.s did even better at companies where salaries did not keep pace with inflation. Median workers’ wages at about a third of the firms in the I.P.S. study did not keep pace with inflation. At those companies, the average C.E.O. pay was up by 65 percent, or more than double the increase at all of the firms in the study. Among the companies highlighted in the report were Best Buy, where median pay fell 2 percent last year to $29,999, while the C.E.O., Corie Barry, received a 30 percent pay increase to $15.6 million.
S.E.C. urged to require more transparency on labor spending
A group of former regulators will ask the S.E.C. to issue new rules, illuminating the cost and payoffs of work force investments. The petition, which DealBook is first to report, contends that investors need more information about what companies pay workers and urges the S.E.C. to propose several new rules, including requiring companies to disclose how much they are investing in their workforces.
The group includes Joseph Grundfest of Stanford and Robert Jackson of N.Y.U., two former S.E.C. commissioners who have often had opposing views. “We differ in our views about the regulation of firms’ relationships with their employees generally,” they wrote. “But we all share the view that investors need additional information.”