SAD: Top-paid CEOs raked in average worker’s annual salary before noon today

Even in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the highest-paid CEOs in Canada have already earned more in 2021 than the average Canadian worker will earn all year, according to a new report.

The eye-popping claim comes from an annual report released Monday from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, an Ottawa-based think-tank that champions labour issues and opposes inequality.

By tabulating data from companies that trade on the TSX, the group calculated that in 2019, the average total compensation for the 100 best-paid CEOs in Canada was $10.8 million. In contrast, the average annual salary for a Canadian worker that year was $53,482, according to Statistics Canada.

At those rates, a top Canadian CEO earned the entire annual salary of a typical worker at their company by 11:17 a.m. ET today.

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That’s actually a little over an hour later than was the case the year before, when the average CEO took in $11.8 million annually — 227 times more than the typical worker’s pay packet. At that time, the richest 100 CEOs outearned their average workers a little after 10 a.m. on the first working day of the year.

The CCPA used 2019 data because full numbers for 2020 won’t be available until the spring. But early estimates show that roughly half of top-paid CEOs will likely keep or even increase their compensation levels, due to the stock market boom during the pandemic.


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