Last year, the new White House chief of staff earned more than 180 times the pay of a typical American worker.
William Daley, formerly JPMorgan Chase's Midwest chairman and head of corporate responsibility, made $8.7 million in 2010 and the first week of 2011 at his former employer, according to disclosure forms, Bloomberg reports. That total represented a combination of his salary and two bonuses paid in cash and stock. A typical American worker makes between $36,000 (for women) and $47,000 (for men), according to the Census Bureau.
Daley was chosen in part because of his private sector experience, and his selection was seen as a move by the president to repair what some perceive as a strained relationship with big business. But while business leaders have approved of the selection, critics say Washington already enjoys too close of a relationship with the financial sector.
Last month, Daley owned nearly $7.7 million in JPMorgan Chase stock, which, had he held onto it, would have presented a potential conflict of interest, as his new job requires that he offer advice on policies that could affect his former employer, HuffPost reported.
In addition to the $8.7 million pay package, Daley also got a $6.6 million pension plan, paid as a lump sum, Bloomberg reported.
In the wake of the recession, nearly a third of American working families are near poverty, earning less than twice the official poverty threshold, according to a recent report from the Working Poor Families Project. Layoffs have forced workers to switch jobs and settle for less pay.
More than half the workers who found new work by early 2010 after losing jobs between 2007 and 2009 said their pay had dropped, according to Labor Department data.