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N.C. CEOs paid 271 times the average American worker

Jeremy Sprinkle
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Outsourcing results in even higher inequality

CEO pay for major companies in North Carolina continues to soar as income inequality and outsourcing of good-paying American jobs increases. Outsourcing has become a hot presidential election topic with candidates calling out corporations who say they need to save money by sending jobs overseas. Meanwhile, according to the new AFL-CIO Executive PayWatch, the average North Carolina CEO of companies on the S&P 500 made $10.8 million per year in 2015 – 271 times more money than the average rank-and-file worker.

The Executive PayWatch website, the most comprehensive searchable online database tracking CEO pay, showed that in 2015, the average production and nonsupervisory North Carolina worker earned approximately $36,900 per year, a wage that when adjusted for inflation, has remained stagnant for 50 years.

In 2015, the ratio of CEO pay at America's largest companies compared to the average American worker was 335:1.

For Red Hat CEO James Whitehurst, the highest paid CEO in our state, it was 454:1.

High-paid CEOs feed off of the low-wage economy, and in some ways are compensated for creating it. Some CEOs are rewarded for outsourcing good jobs to countries with weak workplace rights and poverty wages - like Hanesbrands CEO Richard Noll.

CEO Noll got paid $5742/hr - about $100 a minute - for producing underwear in Vietnam, where the minimum wage is 65 cents/hr, instead of in Hanesbrands' hometown of Winston-Salem.

Check out to see how your pay compares and learn how some CEOs exploit loopholes to pad their pay at our expense.