Dividends payments soar globally as worker pay stagnates

By Phillip Inman in the Guardian 1 May 2025

Shareholders have proved to be more successful at securing bumper payouts than workers have at winning higher pay, according to two studies that show dividends outstripping wages by a considerable margin in recent years.

Oxfam said analysis of global data showed that dividend payments to shareholders over the last three years grew an average of 14 times faster than worker pay across 31 major economies.

The charity said the division of profits in economies that account for 81% of global income, or gross domestic product (GDP), is heavily skewed to shareholders, creating “a yawning gap” between the rich and those on middle to low incomes.

Published to coincide with International Workers’ Day, the analysis shows that in the UK, after taking inflation into account, dividends increased by 13% between 2020 and 2023, while average wages remained stagnant.



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