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Worker pay trends down while CEO pay trends up at Tampa-St. Pete companies

Margie Manning



Photo by Christina @ on Unsplash

While CEOs at publicly traded companies headquartered in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area got six, seven or even eight-figure pay packages in 2020, the average median worker pay for those companies was just under $40,000.

The average pay for the median worker dropped about $2,000 in 2020 from 2019, or about 5 percent, while CEO pay at the same companies rose about 18 percent, according to information from regulatory statements filed by the local companies.

Related: Here are the highest-paid CEOs in 2020 in Tampa-St. Pete

Since 2018, most public companies have been required to include in their annual proxy filing the compensation they paid to their “median” employee, as well as provide a comparison of CEO pay to median worker pay. The rules, developed by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, give companies some latitude in how they identify the median worker.  They are designed to help inform shareholders when voting on “say on pay,” according to the SEC. Some economists contend the numbers also point out a wide gap between CEO pay and rank-and-file worker pay and highlight economic inequities.

Highest pay

Locally, Raymond James Financial (NYSE: RJF) in St. Petersburg had the highest median worker pay at $94,744 in 2020.  That was slightly below the $94,864 median worker pay the financial services company reported for 2019.

Jabil (NYSE: JBL) had the lowest median worker pay in 2020 at $7,753, but that was up slightly from median worker pay of $7,109 reported in 2019.

Jabil’s median worker pay is skewed however, because the St. Petersburg-based manufacturing services firm has a global presence, with more than 93 percent of its workers located outside the United States. Jabil said it annually conducts competitive market pay analysis in all of the countries in which it operates to ensure it is competitive with local market practices.

The company disclosed in 2018 that its St. Petersburg workers have an average annual wage of about $96,000.

Here’s a look at the 16 companies headquartered in Tampa-St. Pete that have reported CEO pay and median worker pay for the past two years.

In addition to Jabil, some of the other local firms included more context for their median worker pay. Publix Super Markets, a privately owned Lakeland company that reports its financial information publicly, said the median full-time worker’s 2020 pay was $45,461, nearly twice the $23,429 median worker pay that includes all full-time, part-time and seasonal employees.

Superior Group of Companies (Nasdaq: SGC), headquartered in Seminole, said the median worker pay for employees only in the U.S. was $39,286. About 760 of its 4,600 employees are based in the United States.

Pay ratio

Because of their global workforces, Jabil and Superior posted the largest CEO pay ratios, a comparison of CEO pay to median worker pay.

Mark Mondello, CEO of Jabil, made $1,640 for every $1 made by the median worker at the company. Michael Benstock, CEO of Superior, made $802 for every $1 made by the median worker.

Here are the 2020 CEO pay ratios for all the locally based firms that have reported them to date.

Nationally, the median CEO pay ratio for the largest U.S.-listed companies was 238-to-1 in 2020, according to corporate data solutions company Equilar. That was lower than the 252-to-1 CEO pay ratio in 2019, Equilar said in a news release.

A handful of the larger public companies in the Tampa-St. Pete area have not yet disclosed executive pay, median worker pay or pay ratios for 2020, including HCI Group, BRP Group and Lazydays Holdings.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

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    Brian Donovan

    April 22, 2021at8:01 am

    Gee Whiz, glad to know the system has not changed. Thank God.

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