A century ago, executives earned anywhere between 3 and 20 times what the average worker in their factories earned. According to research by global human capital and risk management firm, Towers Perrin (now Towers Watson), in 1965, CEO pay was 26 times that of their average worker. This is looking at the total packages, rather than base salary. By 1980, this had risen to 40 times. In 1989, it was 72 times. In 1999 it had risen to 310 times, and by 2004 CEO pay had reached 500 times that of the average worker in their firm. In some companies by 2010, this had jumped to over 1,000 times. (In pure salary terms, in 2008, US executives took home 319 times more than the average worker, according to a report linked to the Guardian’s salary survey).
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