Finnish employee must work 34 days to reach a single day’s pay for CEO


February 18 was the moment at which the average private sector employee earnings of this year surpassed a private company chief executive’s daily pay.

The date is calculated by the Finnish Confederation of Professionals STTK. It tells how many days an average private sector employee must work to reach the same pay as a CEO of a major publicly listed company gets in one day. It took 34 working days.

The new figures are from the year 2017. In 2016, an employee needed one day less to reach a CEO’s daily pay.

In 2017, the total income of a major private company CEO was 1,600,700 euro. For the same period of time a private sector employee earned an average of 40,250 euro.

According to economic research relatively small income differences positively impact welfare and economic growth

Antti Koskela, the STTK economist stresses that the ideal of the Nordic welfare state is a small difference in income. By international comparisons the pay discrepancy is still relatively small in Finland.

“STTK is not against discrepancies in incomes, but it is important to curtail their growth. According to economic research relatively small income differences positively impact welfare and economic growth”, Koskela says.

Reward should not and cannot be a privilege afforded only to the top leaders of companies, STTK insists.

“Everyone has a right to a fair share of the profit”, Koskela says. We need more openness in salaries and the reasoning behind reward must be visible, he adds.

STTK calculations are inspired by the Fat Cat Day in the UK. It highlights, through similar calculations, the pay gap between major company executives and their company employees.

Helsinki (18.02.2019 – Heikki Jokinen)