Yes you read that correctly. According to the New York State Comptroller’s Office, the average Wall Street bonus paid to securities industry employees in New York City soared 17% last year to $184,200! That’s more than three times the US median household income of $59,039 in 2016, the most recent year for which statistics are available. The Wall Street windfall is just shy of the record of $191,360 in 2006, just before the financial meltdown. The industry’s total bonus pool climbed last year to $31.4 billion.
Wall Street has always been known for large payouts. In 2016, including bonuses, the average Wall Street salary was $375,200. That’s five times as high as the rest of the private sector. In New York City, about 25 percent of the industry’s employees took home more than $250,000
Big Growth at Big Banks
Profits before tax in the securities industry jumped 42% in 2017, after increasing a robust 21% in 2016. Profits haven’t been this high since 2010. In 2010 the Dodd-Frank financial reform law was enacted. Wall Street accounted salaries and bonuses accounted for 20 percent of private sector wages in New York City, but only represents fewer than 5 percent of local jobs.
Related: 10 Richest Women in America in 2017
New Tax Law Having an Impact
The new tax law enacted by the Trump administration is having an impact. The larger bonus pool has encouraged banks to accelerate some pay and bonuses. Banks are expected to be among the biggest beneficiaries of lowering the corporate tax rate to 21 percent. They are able to reward their best performing bankers with ground breaking Wall Street Bonuses.