The Rich Get Richer: CEO Bonuses Skyrocket; Worker Pay Flat

| Fri Mar. 18, 2011 3:47 PM EDT

It's looking like top corporate executives raked in the cash in 2010:

CEO bonuses at 50 major corporations jumped a median of 30.5%, the bigest gain in at least three years, according to a study of the first batch of corporate pay disclosures by consulting firm Hay Group for The Wall Street Journal.

To a large degree, the gains reflect the value of generous CEO stock options, which surged in concert with last year's bull market.  It might seem only fair to incentivize executives to boost their companies' share prices—until you consider how few of these gains have trickled down to the average American worker.

In 2010, median non-farm worker compensation increased by a mere 2.0 percent. With the exception of 2009, when compensation rose just 1.4 percent, that's the slowest rate of increase in decades

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