Bonuses bounce back on a smaller Wall Street

Michael Bow
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WALL Street bonuses increased nine per cent to an average of $122,000 (£81,000) last year despite escalating job losses and at the same time as the Big Apple’s financial sector shrank overall, according to estimates released yesterday.

The average bonus pool for employees employed in the securities industry in New York City surged some eight per cent to $20bn last year, reversing a 19 per cent decline in 2011, according to estimates compiled by the Office of the New York State comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

Last year’s average bonus – pegged at $121,890 – underpins healthy salaries paid to employees of Wall Street firms. Salaries averaged $362,900 in 2011. The comptroller has released no data for last year.

Despite this, Wall Street’s financial sector is shrinking. Figures show there were 1,000 fewer jobs on Wall Street at the end of last year than at the end of 2011, with 169,700 people employed in New York’s securities industry at the end of 2012.

“Profits and bonuses rebounded in 2012, but the industry is still restructuring,” DiNapoli said.

The securities industry accounted for around five per cent of all private sector jobs in New York City in 2011 but represented more than a fifth of pay in the city.