The average bonus for a Wall Street employee last year was $184,000, a 10% increase from 2019, according to a Friday press release from New York comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.
That number, too, has got Americans thinking about what minimum wage would look like if it saw similar growth.
Comparatively, Wall Street bonuses have grown 1,217% since 1986, roughly 10 times the pace of minimum wage during the over 40-year stretch. As Wall Street traders had an average salary of $406,000 in 2019, according to DiNapoli, the federal minimum wage has flatlined at $7.25 an hour for 12 years now. And if it had grown at the same rate as Wall Street bonuses, the minimum wage would now be sitting at $44.12 an hour.
“It’s just another reminder that there’s a total disconnect between what happens on Wall Street and what happens in people’s everyday lives and in the real economy,” said Sarah Anderson, director of the global economy program at the Institute for Policy Studies, told Insider.
On Monday, ISP shared that “the total bonus pool for 182,100 New York City-based Wall Street employees was $31.7 billion,” which is enough to pay 1 million Americans $15 per hour for a year.
“So much of what is the most rewarded on Wall Street is the kind of trading activity that really doesn’t add a lot to the real economy and isn’t essential, mostly because of market volatility, not necessarily because they’ve added a lot of value to the economy,” Anderson said.