Wages and Compensation

28% of US Labor is expected to hold low-wage jobs in 2020 according to the EPI and is the same percentage as what existed in 2010.

While real median hourly wages on average dropped 2.8% for all occupations between 2009 and 2012, lower wage occupations saw a much larger drop of 5% or more for occupations such as restaurant cooks, food preparation workers, home health aides, personal care aides, and maids and housekeepers.

Low Wage-3

While hourly worker wages decreased the average CEO Compensation in 2013 was ~ $15 million with “the value of stock options exercised in a given year, up 2.8 percent since 2012 and 21.7 percent since 2010.” The 2013 CEO to Worker Compensation ratio was 510 to 1.

As EPI points out, CEO compensation does not reflect the market value of CEOs in a market requiring higher performance. The compensation packages awarded to various CEOs reflects the “presence of substantial rents” in the form of stock options, etc. (taxed at a lower level than most payroll wages) embedded in CEO compensation.

If compensation were lower for CEOs or if the compensation was taxed heavier, the impact to labor employment would be zero.


Think Progress; “One In Four American Workers Will Be In Low-Wage Jobs For The Next Decade”
NELP; “The Inequality of Declining Wages During the Recovery”
EPI; “CEO Pay Continues to Rise as Typical Workers Are Paid Less”