A restaurant or retail worker making a hypothetical minimum wage of $15 an hour would still have to work full-time almost 23 days to earn as much as the median CEOs in these industries earn in an hour.
That calculation, by USA Today using public data from S&P Global Market Intelligence, comes as the push for a national $15 minimum wage is gaining steam.
The median pay for the 76 restaurant and retail company CEOs who have had their last year’s pay data reported so far was about $5.6 million, which breaks down to about $2,703 an hour.
Four chief executives earned more than $9,000 an hour last year based on a 40-hour work week: Larry Merlo of CVS Health, who earned $13,914 an hour; Leslie Wexner of Victoria’s Secret parent company L Brands with $13,062 an hour; Howard Schultz of Starbucks, who netted $9,659 an hour; and Wal-Mart’s Douglas McMillon, who made $9,323 an hour.
CVS Health’s Larry Merlo, the highest earner on the list, earned a total of $28.9 million pay last year. To make the equivalent of what he earned in an hour, $13,914, it would take over 115 days for a worker making $15 an hour.
Stephen Easterbrook, CEO of McDonald’s, whose employees play a core role in the “Fight for $15” wage hike movement, earned $3,803 an hour last year, or $5.6 million. That’s more than 250 times as much as the $15 an hour many of the company’s employees are pushing for.
Starting next year, the U.S. Security and Exchange Commission will require companies to disclose how much their CEOs and workers earn.