NY comptroller: Wall St. bonuses to rise to $20B

NY comptroller: Wall Street bonuses for 2012 expected to show 8 percent increase to $20B

Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- Wall Street cash bonuses for 2012 are expected to rise 8 percent to $20 billion, partly driven by deferred payments from previous years, New York's state comptroller reported Tuesday.

The analysis shows the securities industry is still restructuring since the 2008 financial crisis, with almost 20,000 — or 10 percent — fewer jobs in New York City, Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said. The 169,700 jobs in December were down 1,000 from a year before. He said the jobs were not migrating to other cities and to expect some continued downsizing.

"Profits and bonuses rebounded in 2012, but the industry is still restructuring," DiNapoli said. "Despite its smaller size, the securities industry is still a very important part of the New York City and New York State economies."

Wall Street's employment peak was 200,300 in December 2000, the comptroller's office said.

According to DiNapoli's report, profits for broker/dealer operations of some 200 New York Stock Exchange members — the traditional measure of profitability for the securities industry — totaled nearly $24 billion last year, triple their 2011 earnings. Other activities of the large bank holding companies were less profitable last year.

The average securities industry salary, including bonuses, rose slightly to almost $362,900 in 2011, higher than before the crisis and more than five times higher than the $68,000 average in the rest of the city's private sector. The 2012 wage data was not available Tuesday.

The average cash bonus rose an estimated 9 percent to $121,900 last year.

New York still has more securities industry jobs than any other state, nearly 2.5 times as many as California, with 90 percent of those jobs in the city, the comptroller's office reported. Personal and business income tax collections from Wall Street and related activities accounted for up to 20 percent of the state's tax revenues before the crisis, dropping to 14 percent last year.

The office reported personal income tax withholding collections in New York City were 15 percent higher in December from the year before, with taxpayers shifting $2.5 billion of income like bonuses largely to avoid higher federal tax rates in 2013.

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