Wall Street bonuses rise to US$24b
The average Wall Street banker bonus came to slightly more than US$138,000 in 2016, according to data from the New York State Comptroller's Office.
The major banks set aside US$23.9 billion for bonuses in 2016, or US$138,210 per worker, up two per cent from a year earlier. Bonuses remain well below the levels they were in their heydays before the financial crisis, when the average bonus reached as high as US$191,360 in 2006.
While most Wall Street bankers make a salary, the vast majority of their compensation comes in the form of annual bonuses which reflect how the firm did that year, plus the worker's contribution. Some bonuses can be as small as a few thousand dollars for low-level support staff, while high-profile traders and investment bankers can bring in bonuses in the tens of millions of dollars.
Roughly 177,000 people were employed by Wall Street securities and brokerage firms in 2016, according to the Comptroller's office, the highest level of employment since 2008.
Industry-wide profits in New York state were US$17.3 billion, the highest annual profit for the industry in New York state since 2012. Bigger profits for the industry are typically good for New York, since the state is heavily reliant on Wall Street profits for tax revenue.