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Average Wall Street bonus dipped to $176,500 last year

Wall Street's average yearly cash bonuses declined by 2% in 2023 to $176,500, down from $180,000 the year before despite an increase in industry profits.

Wall Street bonuses fell slightly last year despite an increase in industry profits, New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said Tuesday.

DiNapoli's yearly estimate found the average annual Wall Street cash bonus was $176,500 in 2023, down 2% from $180,000 in 2022. 

The industry saw a 1.8% increase in profits last year. DiNapoli attributed the lower payouts to a rise in workers in the securities industry and to firms taking "a more cautious approach to compensation."

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"Wall Street’s average cash bonuses dipped slightly from last year, with continued market volatility and more people joining the securities workforce," DiNapoli said in a statement. 

The total Wall Street bonus pool was $33.8 billion in 2023, largely in line with what was paid out in 2022. It represents a sharp decline from the 25% growth in 2020 ($37.1 billion) and the 15% surge in 2021 ($42.7 billion).

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The comptroller noted that Wall Street bonuses have a significant impact on the budgets of New York City and the state, accounting for 7% and 27.4% of their tax collections, respectively.

But officials expected declines for fiscal year 2023 and planned ahead so the slight decrease in revenue will not have a major impact on either in the short term.

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The securities industry employed roughly 198,500 people in New York City last year, up from 191,600 in 2022. DiNapoli estimates that 1 in 11 jobs in the city is either directly or indirectly associated with the sector.

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