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CEOs Received Smaller Raises Last Year

The top CEOs in the US got a 1 percent raise last year, according to disclosures from 46 companies in the Standard & and Poor's 500. The previous year, CEOs' pay jumped 15 percent.

ceo pay 

(Photo Credit: Tax Credits/Flickr)

Before you shed a tear for the men and (very few) women in the corner office, remember that their 1 percent raise is much less likely to get eaten up by commuting costs and rent hikes and all the other little ways our cost-of-living pay increases disappear. If we go by the median earnings and increase for a CEO of a top company in the US, that 1 percent raises their salary to a whopping $8.64 million.

A few more facts about CEO pay, to underscore how very different their situation is, from that of the average worker:

1. Your real wages have most likely stagnated over time, and at a much lower rate of pay than that of a CEO. The PayScale Real Wage Index shows a decrease in earnings of 7.2 percent, once we take inflation into account.

2. Reuters reports that the decrease in earnings is largely the result of "reduced grants of stock options." While non-cash compensation is a wealth builder for executives at that level, it's the difference between winding up on the Forbes Billionaires List or consoling oneself on a slightly smaller yacht -- not the difference between paying the electric bill or not.

3. The highest-earning CEOs earn hundreds of times more each year than the lowest-earning workers at their own companies.

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