Measles babies
Re-thinking a standard business chart of stock purchases and sales

Pay levels in the U.S.

The Wall Street Journal published a graphic showing the median pay levels at "most" public companies in the U.S. here.


People who attended my dataviz seminar might recognize the similarity with the graphic showing internet download speeds by different broadband technologies. It's a clean, clear way of showing multiple comparisons on the same chart.

You can see the distribution of pay levels of companies within each industry grouping, and the vertical lines showing the sector medians allow comparison across sectors. The median pay levels are quite similar with the energy sector leaning higher, and consumer sector leaning lower.

The consumer sector is extremely heavy on the low side of the pay range. Companies like Universal, Abercrombie, Skechers, Mattel, Gap, etc. all pay at least half their employees less than $6,000. The data is sourced to MyLogIQ. I have no knowledge of how reliable or valid the data are. It's curious to me that Dunkin Brands showed a median of $110K while Starbucks showed $13K.



I like the interactive features.

The window control lets the user zoom in to different parts of the pay range. This is necessary because of the extremely high salaries. The control doubles as a presentation of the overall distribution of median salaries.

The text box can be used to add data labels to specific companies.


See previous discussion of WSJ Graphics.



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Dunkin Brands is primarily (exclusively?) franchises. So the shift workers are not employees of Dunkin, but rather of the franchisees. Starbucks owns most (all?) of its locations and so the shift workers are included in these figures as they are employees of Starbucks.

It's curious to me that Dunkin Brands showed a median of $110K while Starbucks showed $13K.

Two possible answers, depending on how the data is reported.
1. Dunkin Donuts is franchised. Free-standing Starbucks stores in the US (i.e. not inside Target, Safeway, etc) are owned and operated by Starbucks and not franchised.
2. Dunkin Brands is the parent company of Dunkin Donuts (and Baskin Robbins). If the numbers only include employees of the parent company itselft, they're likely highly compensated.

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