Top CEOs see pay gain of 27 per cent in 2010

Average worker's weekly earnings lower than during recession: CCPA
||Last Updated: 01/05/2012

The highest paid 100 CEOs on Canada’s TSX index pocketed an average $8.38 million in 2010 – a 27 per cent increase over the average $6.6 million they took in 2009, according to the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA).

By noon Jan. 3, they had already pocketed $44,366 — the annual salary of the average wage earner. After taking inflation into account, the average worker’s weekly earnings are lower now than they were during the worst of the 2008-2009 recession.

“The average of Canada’s CEO Elite 100 make 189 times more than Canadians earning the average wage,” said economist Huge Mackenzie, the report’s author. “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.”

Canada’s top CEOs are among the country’s richest 0.01 per cent, a group of 2,460 tax filers whose minimum income was $1.85 million in 2007, found the report Canada’s CEO Elite 100: The 0.01%. Their incomes are above the average income of $404,500 (2007) required to enter the richest one per cent club.

The lowest paid of the top 100 CEOs earned $3.9 million in 2010. And all but one of them is male.

“The conclusion from these data is inescapable,” said 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.”

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