Wall Street slashed bonuses by a whopping 17 percent last year, even as profits across the securities industry reached an all-time high, according to a new report.
The average securities industry employee saw their bonus decline to $153,700, down more than $30,000 from last year’s average, according to New York state Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli’s annual report.
The cuts come as Wall Street boasted its most profitable year ever in 2018, harvesting more than $100 billion in net income after the Trump administration slashed corporate taxes to 21 percent, down from about 35 percent.
“Despite a sharp decline in the financial markets in the fourth quarter of 2018, the securities industry still had a good year with increased profits and employment,” DiNapoli said in a statement.
The shrinkage follows a banner 2017 for Wall Street bonuses, which surged to an estimated total of $31.4 billion — the largest since 2007, the year before the financial industry nearly collapsed as mortgage investments soured.
In 2018, the total pot for bonuses fell to $27.5 billion, according to the comptroller.
Although smaller, Wall Street’s one-time bonus of $153,700 last year is also double the average annual salary for New York City workers, DiNapoli said.
“Folks on Wall Street might have to buy a little less expensive Swiss watch with their bonus this year,” Sarah Anderson, program director at the Institute for Policy Studies, told The Post.
It may be that Wall Street just has more mouths to feed. Securities firms added 4,700 jobs in 2018 to 181,300 — the most since the financial crisis, according to the report.
Oddly, Wall Street had a volatile 2018, ending with bond trading freezing up and the stock market nearly collapsing in December.
And bankers had it so bad that Citigroup CFO John Gerspach commented during a conference call that “everything” was worse than expected during the fourth quarter.