CEOs vs the 99%: No contest when it comes to pay

TORONTO, Jan. 3, 2012 /CNW/ - The highest paid 100 CEOs on Canada's TSX Index had reason to cheer the New Year: By noon January 3, they had already pocketed $44,366 - what it takes the average wage earner an entire year to make.

The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives' (CCPA) annual look at CEO compensation reveals Canada's Elite 100 CEOs pocketed an average $8.38 million in 2010 - a 27% increase over the average $6.6 million they took in 2009.

In contrast, after taking inflation into account, the average worker's weekly earnings are lower now than they were during the worst of the 2008-09 recession.

"The average of Canada's CEO Elite 100 make 189 times more than Canadians earning the average wage," says the report's author, Economist Hugh Mackenzie.

"If you think that's normal, it's not. In 1998, the highest paid 100 Canadian CEOs earned 105 times more than the average wage, itself likely more than double the figure for a decade earlier."

Among the report's findings:

  • Canada's Elite 100 CEOs are among the country's richest 0.01%, a privileged group of 2,460 tax filers whose minimum income was $1.85 million in 2007. Their incomes soar above the average income of $404,500 (2007) required to enter the richest 1% club.
  • The lowest paid of Canada's CEO Elite 100 pocketed $3.9 million in 2010.
  • All but one of Canada's highest paid 100 CEOs on the TSX Index is male.

"The conclusion from these data is inescapable," says Mackenzie. "Soaring executive pay plays a significant role in driving the growth in income inequality in Canada.

"The gap between Canada's CEO Elite 100 and the rest of us is growing at a fast and steady pace, with no signs of letting up."

Download Canada's CEO Elite 100: The 0.01% or punch in the CEO vs. Average Joe time clock at www.policyalternatives.ca.

SOURCE Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

For further information:

Trish Hennessy at 416-525-4927 or Kerri-Anne Finn at 613-563-1341 x306.

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Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives

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