Apple increased worker pay 18% last year; Google & Facebook best paid

An analysis of pay levels at S&P 500 companies shows that Apple increased worker pay by 18% last year, significantly more than most others in the index.

It also reveals that Google and Facebook parent companies Alphabet and Meta had the highest average pay…

The WSJ carried out the analysis, which primarily focuses on the average pay at each company. It reveals that the median pay at Apple in 2021 was $ 68,254 – which is 18% up on 2020.

Median is one of three ways averages can be calculated (mean, median, and mode). If you used the mean, then that would be skewed by the very high salaries paid to top execs. The median is the middle point of all the salaries ranked from low to high, which is a more realistic guide.

However, it should be noted that Apple’s figures are also skewed by the difference between retail and corporate pay. The average on the retail side will be substantially lower, while corporate will be far higher.

A company like Alphabet, in contrast, will have relatively few low-paid workers to bring down the median – especially as menial tasks tend to be outsourced.

That said, the highest average pay was found at Alphabet and Meta.

With a booming economy and a tight job market, median pay rose last year for most S&P 500 companies, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis.

Google parent Alphabet Inc and Facebook’s Meta Platforms Inc had the highest-paid median workers, at almost $ 300,000. They were among nearly 150 companies that said their median employee earned more than $ 100,000.

Auto-parts supplier Aptiv PLC had the lowest-paid median worker in the S&P 500 — a full-time factory worker in Mexico who earned less than $ 7,500 last year. Aptiv was one of 44 companies that reported paying less than $ 30,000.

Overall, the median pay figure rose last year for 278 of the 453 companies in the Journal’s analysis of data collected by MyLogIQ LLC.

As of the end of 2021, Apple had around 154,000 employees.

One of the other interesting stats is the CEO pay ratio. This is calculated by dividing the CEO’s annual compensation by the median employee’s pay, and is used as a general guide to the fairness of a company’s pay structure. Apple’s ratio is a particularly poor one, at 1,447 – but that’s not surprising given the performance bonuses earned by Cook against a large retail workforce.

The iPhone maker is, however, now coming under increasing pressure to improve the pay, benefits, and working conditions of its retail staff. Early moves toward unionization saw the company respond with a carrot-and-stick approach: the stick being unconvincing suggestions that workers would be worse off with union representation, and the carrot being pay raises.

Store workers have been shown a video by O’Brien in which she opens by saying that employees have the right to join a union, then spends six minutes arguing that this would be a bad idea.

Vice obtained an audio recording of the video, in which Apple’s retail head repeatedly tells employees about her “worries” if they join a union […]

The iPhone maker on Wednesday told employees in an email that the company is increasing its overall compensation budget. Starting pay for hourly workers in the US will rise to $ 22 an hour, or higher based upon the market, a 45% increase from 2018. Starting salaries in the US are also expected to increase.

The company’s aggression in fighting unionization has seen the company twice accused of breaking multiple federal laws with illegal union-busting moves.

Check out the searchable pay rankings here.

Photo: Alexander Mils / Unsplash

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Naveen Kumar

Friendly communicator. Music maven. Explorer. Pop culture trailblazer. Social media practitioner.

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