Wall Street Bonuses Hit Third Highest Level; Up 15% to $164,530 Average

Wall Street Bonuses Hit Third Highest Level; Up 15% to $164,530 AverageThe financial crisis that nearly paralyzed the economy wasn’t that long ago. Did Wall Street learn its lesson about over-indulgence?
You judge: The average bonus paid to securities industry employees in New York City grew by 15 percent to $164,530 in 2013, which is the largest average bonus since the 2008 financial crisis, and the third highest on record, reported New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli on Wednesday.
The cash bonus pool jumped 15 percent to $26.7 billion in 2013.
The higher bonuses came as Wall Street posted a fifth consecutive year of profits in the wake of the financial crisis.
However, profits for broker-dealer operations of New York Stock Exchange member firms fell 30 percent to $16.7 billion in 2013, the report said.
DiNapoli sees it as a sign of resilience among Wall Street firms deal facing increased regulatory oversight.
“Although profits were lower than the prior year, the industry still had a good year in 2013 despite costly legal settlements and higher interest rates,” DiNapoli said. “Wall Street continues to demonstrate resilience as it evolves in a changing regulatory environment.”
Nonetheless, the number of industry jobs in New York City has not returned to the pre-crisis level.
DiNapoli estimates the securities industry employed 165,200 workers in New York City in December 2013, which is 12.6 percent fewer workers than before the financial crisis.
After large job losses during the recession, employment in the securities industry in New York City has stabilized.
The Comptroller’s estimate reflects cash bonuses and deferred pay from which taxes have been withheld. The estimate does not include stock options or other forms of deferred compensation. Bonuses paid to employees outside New York City are not included in the estimate.

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