The average Wall Street banker's bonus last year rose to the highest level since the recession, and up to the third highest figure on record, new data out of the N.Y. state comptroller's office showed Wednesday.
"Wall Street navigated through some rough patches last year and had a profitable year in 2013," New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli said. "Securities industry employees took home significantly higher bonuses on average."
The typical Wall Street worker took home $164,530 US in bonuses last year, the data shows. That's up 15 per cent from 2012's level and dwarfs compensation seen in any other industry.
The most recent data from Statistics Canada shows the average salaried worker earned $933 a week in December 2013. That works out to just over $48,000 a year — less than a third what Wall Street bankers were paid on top of their base salaries.
There's also evidence, however, that New York bankers may feel they're earning their pay. Total reported profits for broker/dealer operations among the big banks totalled $16.7 billion in 2013. That's 30 per cent less than the $23.9 billion they made in 2012 but still strong by historical standards.
Indeed, the industry as a whole has definitely rebounded from the financial crisis it started. Wall Street's securities industry has now been profitable for five consecutive years, including the three best years on record, the comptroller's office said.
If there's an area in which Wall Street is still hurting, it's likely in job numbers. DiNapoli estimates the securities industry employed 165,200 workers in New York City in December 2013, which is 12.6 per cent fewer workers than before the financial crisis.
It's still an economic engine for New York, though. Wall Street makes up five per cent of the private sector jobs in New York, but it's responsible for 22 per cent of all the wages paid. And the state collected $10.3 billion in taxes from the industry last year, the data shows.