March 17, 1995

Employees Now Own 5.8% of All Corporate Equity

NCEO founder and senior staff member

The NCEO now estimates that employees own the rights to 5.8% of the corporate stock in the U.S. The estimates are based on Form 5500 filings for ESOPs and 401(k) plans and an estimate of the value of stock options granted broadly to employees.

There is an estimated $6 trillion in corporate equity in the U.S. As of the end of 1992, $150 billion was owned by ESOPs. That number has probably increased some in the last two years, but not a great deal. Based on data compiled for us by Doug Kruse of Rutgers and surveys by Hewitt Associates and the Profit Sharing Council, we believe another $100 billion in employer stock is owned through 401(k) plans (those not combined with ESOPs). Finally, based on data from ShareData and our own information, we believe employees own about $100 billion in options and other broad ownership plans.

Unfortunately, there are no reliable trend data to which we can compare these numbers, but we believe they represent at least twice the what the number would have been ten years ago.