D.C. region CEO pay skyrockets as unemployment level rises

When some residents are working double shifts simply to pay the bills, others are dragging home money bags. Compensation jumped over 20 percent for the area's highest paid chief executives in 2010, reports the Washington Post.


Money can't buy love. (Source: Flickr, Rojer)

The increase, in large part, attributed to stock awards and bonuses coincide with a nationwide trend among public companies. David M. Zaslav, CEO of Discovery Communications, with an annual salary of $2 million, banked a whopping $42.6 million — a 264 percent increase from 2009. Wesley G. Bush, CEO of Northrup Grumman, with an annual salary of $1.3 million, took home $22.2 million.

Locally, CEO salaries climbed 4.3 percent, with bonuses skyrocketing to 19.2 percent. CEO pay was 343 times workers' median compensation in 2010.

The rise comes as a stark contrast to current unemployment levels in the region. In May, the District saw its jobless rate rise to 9.8 percent from 9.6 percent, Maryland remained at a constant 6.8 percent and Virginia saw a slight drop to 6 percent from 6.1 percent.

"CEOs are being paid as if they were in a bubble," said Rees of the AFL-CIO in an interview with the Post.


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