As Middle Class Shrinks, CEOs Now Make 331 Times More Money Than Average Worker

The pay gap between regular employees and chief executives continues to widen.

According to a report released recently by the AFL-CIO, a federation of trade unions, CEOs of companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index earned an average of nearly $12 million in 2013, compared with barely $35,000 for the average production and nonsupervisory worker.

CEOs, then, are paid 331 times the average worker—up from 195 times in 1993, and 46 times in 1983. The report shows that worker pay has increaded 137% since 1983, roughly matching inflation. However, CEO pay soared more than 1,600% over the same time period.

According to the report, many chief executives in North America earn up to $20,000 per hour based on standard working days, with top earners raking in more than $30,000 (average worker pay in the US is less than $17 per hour). To showcase this disparity, the report highlights the fact that a minimum wage employee would need to work nearly 1,400 hours—or more than eight months full-time—to match what Michael Duke, the CEO of Walmart, earns before he even finishes eating his breakfast.