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CEOs in US earned 312 times more than average workers last year: Study

American bank executives

A new study has found that the chief executives at the 350 largest companies in America earned 312 times more than their average employees in 2017.

The research, released on Thursday, was conducted by the Economic Policy institute, a think tank based in Washington, DC.

The study showed these companies paid $18.9 million to their chief executives on average last year, which is a 17.6 percent increase from the previous year.

But the wages of average workers grew just 0.3 percent in the same amount of the time, the new study revealed.

The study also indicated a spectacular raise in wages for chief executives in the past several decades.

The CEO-to-average-worker pay ratio in 1995 was 112-to-1, 58-to-1 in 1989, 30-to-1 in 1978, and 20-to-1 in 1965, according to the study, but in 2000, the ratio jumped to 344-to-1 and in 2016 the ratio it was 270-to-1.

"CEO compensation has grown far faster than stock prices or corporate profits," the institute said in its study. "CEO compensation rose by 979 percent [based on stock options granted] or 1,070 percent [based on stock options realized] between 1978 and 2017."

"CEO pay continues to be very, very high and has grown far faster in recent decades than typical worker pay," the institute continued in the study. "Higher CEO pay does not reflect correspondingly higher output or better firm performance. Exorbitant CEO pay therefore means that the fruits of economic growth are not going to ordinary workers."

According to the US Census Bureau, the median American household took home just over $59,000 in 2016. That figure was the highest ever measured and up 3.2 percent over the previous year.

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