Wall Street Bonuses Surge to a Record High

March 24, 2022

The average bonus for an employee of a Wall Street firm hit a record high in 2021, according to estimates from the New York State Comptroller.

Bonuses were up more than 20% from the year before, climbing to an average of $257,000 from $213,700 in 2020. All told, Wall Street paid out an estimated $45 billion during the 2021’s bonus season, an increase of $8 billion from the year prior.

While this is good news for the employees who received big bonuses, it is also good news for New York City’s tax coffers. Employees in the city’s securities industry account for about 5% of the total private sector workforce, but their salaries account for roughly 20% of the city’s private sector wages.

The State Comptroller attributed the higher bonuses to Wall Street’s stellar profits but warned that the uneven post-pandemic economic recovery and geopolitical uncertainty surrounding the situation in Ukraine could mean lower bonuses, and less tax revenue, in 2022.

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