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CEOs earned 324 times more than their employees in 2021: Survey

A new report from AFL-CIO found that CEOs made a whopping 324 times more than their employees in 2021, while the pay for average workers rose only by 4.7%.

Video Transcript

SEANA SMITH: Well, meanwhile, CEOs are making-- get this-- 324 times more than their employees. Salaries for executives jumping by 18% last year, according to an AFL-CIO report. Now, the pay for average workers only rose by 4.7%. Dave, though, it's important to point out adjusted for inflation, wages actually fell 2.4%. Now the report specifically calling out Amazon for having the highest CEO to worker pay ratio in the S&P 500 index. That ratio? 6,474 to 1. CEO Andy Jassy's pay last year, 212 million.

DAVE BRIGGS: Optics are very bad. And they're calling this-- the researchers are calling it greed-flation. As a trend-- and we talked about this about 2008, right, with the bank bailouts and the auto bailouts. And we thought maybe there was reform coming. It just didn't happen and may never, quite frankly, will.

And the optics, again, are very bad when you tie it to compensation to performance, right? When you look at Expedia, the number one paid CEO in the country, Peter Kern, 296 million, that stock is down 44% year to date. And it's just a tough pill to swallow, Rachelle, for the workers who find out, oh, yeah, our real wages, once you tie in inflation, down 2.4%, and CEOs, 18% increase. The optics are brutal.

RACHELLE AKUFFO: I mean, it is tough because when you think of a company like Amazon and the range of jobs that it comes under and the number of people that are employed, I mean, it's natural that you're going to see a distinction between, say, the lowest paid employee and the CEO. But what's interesting to me, though, is the stock performance side of it. If a company isn't doing well, if the stock performance is down, and you're still rewarding the CEO, that does make it a much harder pill to swallow.

And if you're an employee, who, on top of not making as much, you also have your stock options tied in there so you're seeing the stock tanking, but your CEO doing well, I mean, that's tough. In this environment where you could barely fill up your gas tank, even though gas prices are going down, it's not a good look. The optics are not great, for sure.

DAVE BRIGGS: And it is hard to believe. These are public companies and which are still underperforming and having overpaid CEOs.