The average bonus paid to employees in New York City's securities industry in 2021 jumped by 20% to $257,500, a top New York state financial regulator said Wednesday.
The awards reflect record levels of deal-making and trading activity as government stimulus measures helped propel global stock markets to all-time highs last year.
"Wall Street's soaring profits continued to beat expectations in 2021 and drove record bonuses," New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said in a statement.
"But recent events are likely to drive near-term profitability and bonuses lower," DiNapoli warned, citing choppy markets caused by an uneven and sluggish recovery in other sectors and Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
The 2021 bonus pool increased by 21% to $45 billion during the traditional December-March bonus season, compared to $37.1 billion in 2020, an increase that was deemed unique in the wake of a pandemic-induced recession, the report said.
The city of New York will not get back to its pre-COVID "economic strength" until more "New Yorkers and more sectors — retail, tourism, construction, the arts and others — enjoy similar success," DiNapoli said.
Bankers, Traders Get Biggest Bucks
The securities industry makes up one-fifth of private sector wages in New York City, despite comprising only 5% of private sector employment, the report said.
Compensation firm Johnson Associates Inc. had said in that November year-end bonuses for Wall Street staffers in 2021 were set to be the highest since 2009, with investment bankers and equities traders in line for the biggest bonuses.
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