Wall Street bonuses averaged $138,210

ALBANY -- Wall Street profits rose 21 percent last year, and the average bonus in the securities industry in New York increased to $138,210, a report Wednesday said.

The health of Wall Street is critical for the state's finances, which rely on the industry for nearly 19 percent of its revenue.

The industry's profits hit $17.3 billion in 2016, while the average bonus rose by just 1 percent, according to the annual report from state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

“Wall Street profits bounced back strongly in 2016. Lower costs more than made up for the continued decline in revenues,” DiNapoli said in a statement.

The average salary, including bonuses, was $388,000 in 2015, the latest data available. That's five times higher than the rest of the private sector.

“Bonuses were up only slightly in New York City as the industry held the line on compensation," DiNapoli said. "The jump in profitability is good news since the industry generates a significant amount of tax revenue for both the state and city budgets.”

The pretax profits for New York Stock Exchange member firms was the highest in four years, the report said, and reversed a three-year decline.

The industry added jobs, benefited from cost cutting and had fewer major legal settlements, DiNapoli said.
Indeed, New York reaped more than $8 billion from settlements with banks and Wall Street firms in recent years, boosting the state's coffers.

The securities industry in New York City added 3,800 jobs in 2016 to 177,000 overall, the highest since the financial crisis in 2009 and third year in a row of job increases.

The industry, though, is still 6 percent smaller than it was in 2007, DiNapoli said.

The revenue from Wall Street, nearly $14 billion, that went to the state last fiscal year was 18.5 percent of the state's total tax collections in the fiscal year that ended March 31.

That's still less than estimated: The state thought profits would reach $21 billion.

But DiNapoli said the state's finances should be minimally impacted: higher personal income-tax collections should offset any unrealized revenue.

© Gannett Co., Inc. 2017. All Rights Reserved


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