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Executive Paywatch: Average NC CEO Paid 235x Average Worker

Jeremy Sprinkle
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AFL-CIO Executive Paywatch Report Reveals 235:1 North Carolina CEO-to-Worker Pay Ratio in 2020

View the full report here.

[Raleigh, NC]—According to the 2021 edition of the Executive Paywatch report released today by the AFL-CIO, the average CEO-to-worker pay ratio at S&P 500 companies in North Carolina was 235:1 in 2020.

On average, North Carolina CEOs made $13,302,100 in total compensation in 2020, up from $12,007,943 in 2019. Results once again show massive CEO-to-worker pay disparity and inequality among S&P 500 companies.

North Carolina’s significant levels of inequality showcase the importance of passing the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, a monumental labor law reform bill currently in the hands of the U.S. Senate. The PRO Act will remove barriers to organizing and transform our economic system into one that works for all workers, not just corporate interests and billionaires.

The Executive Paywatch report also found that workers at Russell 3000 Index companies headquartered in “right to work” states were more likely to have lower median employee pay and higher CEO-to-worker pay ratios than companies headquartered in free bargaining states. “Right to work” is the name for a policy designed to make it harder for working people to form unions and collectively bargain for better wages, benefits, and working conditions. North Carolina has been a “right to work” state since 1947, and this report is proof workers are paying the price.

“During a pandemic that forced workers to make decisions that no one should have to make — contracting a deadly virus on the job or staying home and risk losing their livelihood — North Carolina CEOs, on average, pocketed 235 times what their workers got paid,” said MaryBe McMillan, president of the NC State AFL-CIO. “Fixing this imbalance in our economy between the pay and power of CEOs and working people is why we need to pass the PRO Act.”

The AFL-CIO’s annual Executive Paywatch is the most comprehensive, searchable online database that has tracked CEO pay for more than two decades. Over the years, the data from Paywatch has consistently been the leading source for exposing stagnant wages and the negative effects of inequality on America’s workers.

Contact: Jeremy Sprinkle, Communications Director, 336-255-2711 / [email protected]


The North Carolina State AFL-CIO is the largest association of unions of working people in North Carolina, representing over a hundred thousand members, working together for good jobs, safe workplaces, workers’ rights, consumer protections, and quality public services on behalf of ALL working people. PO Box 10805, Raleigh, NC 27605.