The NewStandard ceased publishing on April 27, 2007.

Defense Firms Reap Profits as Pay Gap Widens

by Brendan Coyne

Aug. 31, 2005 – The earnings gap between workers and their bosses continues to grow, with leaders of defense contractors making the largest gains, according to a report released yesterday by two public interest groups.

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In 2003, the average chief executive officer was paid 301 times as much as the average worker. In 2004, they earned 431 times as much as employees.

According to the report, "Executive Excess," average worker earnings are now $27,460, while the average CEO annual compensation jumped to an average of $11.8 million.

The greatest CEO earnings hike was in the defense industry, the report found, with the top 34 publicly-traded military contractors tripling compensation for company heads between 2001 and last year. During the same time period, non-defense industry leaders saw their pay go up an average of 7 percent.

The groups report that if average worker pay raises had matched those of CEOs since 1990, the lowest-paid worker in the US would bring home $23.03 an hour.

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The NewStandard ceased publishing on April 27, 2007.

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Brendan Coyne is a contributing journalist.

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