When it comes to American income disparity, look no further than the typical compensation of an average company chief executive. A new survey has found that the pay gap has hit a new high-water mark, with the typical CEO earning more each day than what the average American worker makes in an entire year: $37,000 (£24,000).
Chief executives of Standard & Poor's 500 large companies averaged $13.5 million in pay last year, about 373 times more than the $36,000 salary earned by the average "technical and non-supervisory worker" during the same time period, according to the latest Executive Pay Watch survey from the AFL-CIO labour union federation.
"America faces an income inequality crisis because corporate CEOs have taken the raising wages agenda and applied it only to themselves," AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka said in a statement. "Big corporations spend freely on executive perks and powerful lobbyists to strip rights from workers, but when it comes to lifting up the wages of workers that make their companies run, they're nowhere to be found."
The average S&P CEO pay increased by almost $2m in a year, compared with the average worker pay, which increased by less than $1,000. The income disparity is on its way up. In 2013 the average CEO "only" earned 331 times what the typical worker made.
The union singled out Walmart CEO Doug McMillon, who reportedly earns more than 1,000 times per hour — $9,323 — than new workers at the company, who start with an hourly salary of $9.
A Walmart spokesman assured Mashable that McMillon will only collect that amount after a $14.5m stock grant takes effect over three years — and only if he does his job by hitting expected performance standards.