Terms and Data Sources

CEO compensation data was obtained from proxy statements filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for the latest fiscal years. It includes data for some 3,000 corporations, including most of those listed in the Russell 3000 Index. The compensation year reported on the website denotes the fiscal year as reported in the proxy statements. This data is updated, usually monthly, throughout the year. Industry classifications are based on Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes obtained from proxy statements. 

Hourly CEO pay assumes 52 40-hour workweeks using the CEO's total compensation. All data are actual, derived from proxy statements.

The average annual income earned by workers is taken from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Current Employment Statistics Survey—Table B-2: Average hours and earnings of production and non-supervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls. The average weekly pay is multiplied by 52. 

The BLS Occupational Employment Statistics Survey is the source for the data on median annual income by occupation.


CEO Name and Company: The name of the CEO and company affiliation is derived from the proxy statement. The website does not adjust for CEO changes at a company after the fiscal year.

Salary: Salary paid to the CEO for the fiscal year.

Bonus: Bonus paid to the CEO in the fiscal year.

Value of Stock Awards: The value of the stock awards granted in a fiscal year as listed in the Summary Compensation Table. Stock awards are in the form of stock or restricted stock that is either time vesting or performance vesting.

Value of Option Awards: The value of stock option awards granted in a fiscal year as listed in the Summary Compensation Table. Stock options are the right to purchase a specified number of common stock at a stated exercise price for a specified period of time. 

Non-Equity Incentive Plan Compensation: This is compensation earned pursuant to non-equity incentive plans. This includes incentive plan awards that are not stock or equity. Incentive plans generally provide for compensation intended to serve as an incentive for performance to occur over a specified period.

Change in Pension Value and Non-Qualified Deferred Compensation Earnings: This is the increase in actuarial value to the executive officer of all defined-benefit pension plans and earnings on non-qualified deferred compensation plans over the past year.

All Other Compensation: The value of perquisites and other benefits provided to the CEO. This could include personal use of company cars and airplanes, country club memberships, tax reimbursements, insurance plans or payments to saving plans. Payments to savings plans are part of Change in Pension Value and Non-Qualified Deferred Compensation Earnings.

Total Compensation: Total compensation is determined by adding the above components: (1) the salary, (2) the bonus, (3) all other compensation, (4) the value of stock and option awards, (5) the value of non-equity incentive plan compensation and the change in pension values and (6) non-qualified deferred compensation earnings.

Text Graphics Sources

49.6% of workers making at or below the minimum wage are 25 years of age or older. 
Characteristics of Minimum Wage Workers: 2012, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Tipped workers live in poverty at 3 times the rate of the U.S. workforce. 
Recipe for Success: Abolish the Subminimum Wage to Strengthen the Restaurant Industry, Restaurant Opportunities Centers United.

21.3 Million workers--of which nearly 6.8 million are Latino--would be affected directly by raising the minimum wage to $10.10. Raising the Federal Minimum Wage to $10.10 Would Give Working Families, and the Overall Economy, a Much-Needed Boost, David Cooper and Doug Hall.

From 2009 to 2012, the top 1% captured 95% of the income gains in the first three years of the recovery. 
Striking It Richer: The Evolution of Top Incomes in the United States, Emmanuel Saez.

In 2013, S&P 500 companies made an average profit of $41,249 on each employee. 
S&P 500 LLC.

Interactive Graphics Sources

2013 CEO-to-Worker Pay Ratio
CEO-to-worker pay ratios from 1983 to 2003 calculated by Bloomberg Businessweek, as reported in Executive Excess 2005, Institute for Policy Studies and United for a Fair Economy, Aug. 20, 2005 (p. 13). CEO-to-worker pay ratio for 2013 calculated based on an AFL-CIO analysis of average CEO pay at 350 available companies in the S&P 500 Index, and 2013 U.S. worker pay data calculated from the BLS Current Employment Statistics Survey—Table B-2.

Minimum Wage Demographics
Characteristics of Minimum Wage Workers: 2013, BLS. Where’s the Diversity in Fortune 500 CEOs? DiversityInc.

Real Value of the Minimum Wage
Raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 would give working families, and the overall economy, a much-needed boost, David Cooper and Doug Hall.