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Wall Street salaries highest since 2008 crisis, report finds

Securities jobs have the highest average pay of any occupation in New York City

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PHOTO: RMajouji via Wikimedia Commons

ALBANY, N.Y. – Salaries on Wall Street rose last year to their highest level since the 2008 financial crisis, according to a report issued Monday by New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

The report puts the average salary in New York City’s securities industry in 2017 at $422,500, a 13 per cent increase over the year before the highest since 2008.

“Wall Street has profited every year since the end of the recession in 2009, and compensation last year reached its highest point since the financial crisis,” said DiNapoli, a Democrat. “The industry is on track for another good year absent a major setback later in the year.”

Overall, Wall Street posted $24.5 billion in pre-tax profits in 2017, rising 42 per cent from 2016’s figures. Profits for the first half of 2018 stand at $13.7 billion, 11 per cent higher than the same period last year.

Securities jobs have the highest average pay of any occupation in the city. They account for 21 per cent of all private-sector wages in the city but make up less than 5 per cent of all private-sector jobs.

DiNapoli’s report found that there are now about 120 firms operating broker-dealer operations on the New York Stock Exchange. There were more than 200 before the financial crisis.

Nearly 200,000 people are employed in the securities industry in New York, more than any other state. DiNapoli’s report found that the industry continues to be dominated by men, with men making up more than two-thirds of the total securities industry jobs in the city. Nearly two-thirds of those in the business are white.

Finally, the report found that the industry and its workers paid $14 billion in taxes to state coffers – or nearly 20 per cent of all state tax collections last year.

“However you feel about Wall Street, positive or negative, when we have good news on profits, that’s certainly a positive,” DiNapoli said.

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