Reuters

Economic inequality, in stark relief.

It takes the average McDonald’s worker seven months to earn what its CEO makes in just a single hour.

While executives at many top companies make top dollar, the typical employee at corporations like McDonald’s, Gap, Target, and Walmart still earns minimum wage, or something barely above it. The disparity is alarming. CEOs of American companies now earn some 270 times what the average worker makes.
 
 

Personal finance website Nerd Wallet took it upon itself to calculate the pay disparity (using Glassdoor and annual company statements) at over 100 fast food and retail companies, and then highlight the 10 companies that paid their CEOs the most. By estimating total CEO compensation—which includes not just an executive’s salary, but also stock options, bonuses, etc.—Nerd Wallet managed to output an approximate hourly wage for these top execs and pit them against the $7+ that typical fast food and retail employees make.

The calendar graphic above makes it clear just how extreme these disparities are.

Such discrepancies have caused a lot of uproar. Thousands of fast food workers went on strike last week in the U.S. to protest low wages. Similar protests erupted back in August. US president Barack Obama pledged last month to support the Senate proposal to raise the federally mandated minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10.

Top image: Demonstrators demanding an increase in worker wages march to a Jack in The Box fast food outlet in Oakland, California. (Noah Berger/Reuters)

This post originally appeared on Quartz, an Atlantic partner site.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Bicycle riders on a package-blocked bicycle lane
    Perspective

    Why Do Micromobility Advocates Have Tiny-Demand Syndrome?

    In the 1930s big auto dreamed up freeways and demanded massive car infrastructure. Micromobility needs its own Futurama—one where cars are marginalized.

  2. A photo of a police officer in El Paso, Texas.
    Equity

    What New Research Says About Race and Police Shootings

    Two new studies have revived the long-running debate over how police respond to white criminal suspects versus African Americans.

  3. a photo of a WeWork office building
    Life

    What WeWork’s Demise Could Do to NYC Real Estate

    The troubled coworking company is the largest office tenant in New York City. What happens to the city’s commercial real estate market if it goes under?

  4. a photo of Uber CEO Travis Kalanick in 2016.
    Transportation

    What Uber Did

    In his new book on the “Battle for Uber,” Mike Isaac chronicles the ruthless rise of the ride-hailing company and its founding CEO, Travis Kalanick.

  5. Life

    Why Do Instagram Playgrounds Keep Calling Themselves Museums?

    The bustling industry of immersive, Instagram-friendly experiences has put a new spin on the word museum.

×