Congressman Keith Ellison

Representing the 5th District of Minnesota


New Report Exposes Extreme Inequality Between CEO and Worker Pay

May 16, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON - Rep. Keith Ellison today unveiled a report, Rewarding Or Hoarding?, exposing the pay discrepancy between CEOs and their workers in new data mandated by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The pay ratios in this report are from the first 225 Fortune 500 companies to report such data to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

“It is important to remember that many CEOs and top executives didn’t want to release this data, and now we know why,” said Rep. Ellison. “The median worker at the vast majority of these companies wouldn’t make in an entire 45-year career — and in many cases, multiple careers — what their CEO makes in a single year. This immense inequality is a crisis for our economy and our democracy, and we need legislative action at the local, state and federal level to address it.”  

The companies in the report database employ more than 15 million workers. The report finds:

·          The average CEO-to-worker pay ratio was 339:1, with the highest gap approaching 5,000:1.

·          In 188 of the 225 companies in the report’s database, a single CEO’s pay could be used to pay more than 100 workers.

·         The median worker at 219 out of the 225 companies in our database would need to work at least one 45-year career to earn what their CEO makes in a single year.

·         The average CEO-to-worker pay ratio for consumer discretionary industries — a category that includes such companies as McDonalds, GAP and Kohl’s — is 977:1, the highest of any industry.

Rep. Ellison has long championed the pay ratio disclosure rule, and called for its implementation in letters to the SEC in December 2013March 2015July 2015 and March 2017.

Read the Executive Summary [PDF]

Read the Full Report [PDF]

View the full report database