The Who’s Better Off Game:Management Workers

Think chief executives have had it easy under Bush? Well, you’d be right. And you’d be wrong. The slumping economy has hit management employees head-on. The management boom of the late ’90’s evaporated as companies folded or scaled back. But those managers who survived have seen salaries soar — particularly among the highest-paid executives…

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.


So, are management employees better off today than in 2000? Well, yes and no. But mostly yes.

There’s no doubt that managers — particularly chief executives — endured a rough few years early in George W. Bush’s tenure. No, we’re not talking about the financial scandals which have sent so few executives to prison. We’re talking about the death of the late 90’s management boom.

The casualties of that death can be seen across the country: Nearly 130,000 CEO jobs have disappeared since 2000. But the real picture isn’t quite so grisly. Those executives that managed to keep their jobs have made out handsomely. Between 2000 and 20003, CEO salaries skyrocketed. Even adjusted for inflation, CEO’s are making nearly 25 percent more today than they were when George W. Bush took office. And that figure doesn’t account for the huge windfall of the Bush tax cuts. For average filers earning more than $100,000 (the average salary for CEO’s in 2000 was 104,630), the Bush tax cut reduced taxes by nearly 17 percent.

Other managers haven’t fared quite as well as CEO’s. Human resources managers, for instance, have seen a similar hemorrhaging of jobs — between 2000 and 2003, nearly 24 percent of all HR manager jobs were elminated. But they have also seen wages climb — just not as dramatically as their better-paid management colleagues. Human resources managers are earning about 11 percent more today, in real income, than they were in 2000.

WE'RE TAKING A SHORT BREAK…

from the big banner at the top of our pages asking for the donations that make Mother Jones' nonprofit journalism possible. But we still have upwards of $300,000 to raise by June 30, whether we get there is going to come down to the wire, and we can't afford to come up short.

If you value the reporting you get from Mother Jones and you can right now, please join your fellow readers who pitch in from time to time to keep our democracy-advancing, justice-seeking journalism charging hard (and to help us avoid a real budget crunch as June 30 approaches and our fiscal year ends).

payment methods

WE'RE TAKING A SHORT BREAK…

from the big banner at the top of our pages asking for the donations that make Mother Jones' nonprofit journalism possible. But we still have upwards of $300,000 to raise by June 30, whether we get there is going to come down to the wire, and we can't afford to come up short.

If you value the reporting you get from Mother Jones and you can right now, please join your fellow readers who pitch in from time to time to keep our democracy-advancing, justice-seeking journalism charging hard (and to help us avoid a real budget crunch as June 30 approaches and our fiscal year ends).

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate