SAN JOSE, Calif. The average chief executive in the United States earned 262 times the pay of the average worker in 2005, according to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), a non-profit think tank.
In 2005, a CEO earned more in one workday (there are 260 in a year) than an average worker earned in 52 weeks, according to the EPI (Washington, D.C.).
In 1965, U.S. CEOs in major companies earned 24 times more than an average worker; this ratio grew to 35 in 1978 and to 71 in 1989, according to the EPI.
The ratio surged in the 1990s and hit 300 at the end of the recovery in 2000, according to the firm.
But "the fall in the stock market reduced CEO stock-related pay (e.g., options) causing CEO pay to moderate to 143 times that of an average worker in 2002," according to the EPI. "Since then, however, CEO pay has exploded and by 2005 the average CEO was paid $10,982,000 a year, or 262 times that of an average worker ($41,861)."