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The median CEO pay raise was 4.5 percent from 2014—and that bump alone, nearly $470,000, is about ten times what the average U.S. worker makes in a year, the AP notes. (Photo: Alex Proimos/cc/flickr)

Average CEO Raise Last Year Amounted to 10x What Most Workers Made in Total

Amid 'disgraceful inequality,' Associated Press analysis finds that median compensation for top executives in 2015 was $10.8 million

Andrea Germanos

It was another banner year for chief executives at the biggest companies.

For its latest annual study of CEO compensation, the Associated Press, using data from Equilar, looked at what 341 executives at companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 index brought home from salary as well as other perks like stock awards and deferred compensation.

The study found that the median compensation was $10.8 million, up from $10.3 million the CEOs took in the year before.

The median CEO pay raise was 4.5 percent from 2014—and that bump alone, nearly $470,000, is about ten times what the average U.S. worker makes in a year, the AP notes.

The top-paying industry was healthcare, with a median compensation of $14.5 million.

The CEO of Expedia, Dara Khosrowshahi, was both the highest paid CEO in 2015, raking in $94.6 million, as well as the CEO with the biggest raise, up 881 percent from the year before.

The AP/Equilar study comes on the heels of the AFL-CIO's most recent figures on its Executive PayWatch, showing that the average CEO of an S&P 500 company in 2015 brought home 335 times more money than the average worker, while the Economic Policy Institute noted last year that "inflation-adjusted CEO compensation increased from $1.5 million in 1978 to $16.3 million in 2014, or 997 percent," compared to the inflation-adjusted compensation for the "average private-sector production and nonsupervisory worker [which] rose from $48,000 in 1978 to just $53,200 in 2014, an increase of only 10.9 percent."

"The income inequality that exists in this country is a disgrace," said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka last week. "We must stop Wall Street CEOs from continuing to profit on the backs of working people."


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