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US Corporate Executive Pay Increasing

FILE - Larry Ellison, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Oracle Corp., waits to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the prime minister's official residence in Tokyo, Apr. 8, 2014.
The already hefty salaries of U.S. corporate executives are on the rise again, and so is the gap between what they are paid and the paychecks of ordinary workers.

New studies this week varied in the details, but showed the top U.S. executives are paid tens of millions of dollars annually. The chief of the Oracle computer technology company, Larry Ellison, was the top-paid executive last year, earning nearly $77 million.

One study, by the Associated Press and the Equilar executive pay research company, show the median pay of chief executives at 500 widely recognized companies reached a record $10.5 million in 2013. The Wall Street Journal said its survey of 300 big companies showed the median top pay had reached $11.4 million.

During the country's recession in 2008 and 2009, chief executive salaries dropped, but now have risen four straight years.