NEW YORK (Reuters) -- Wall Street workers took home nearly $300,000 on average last year as profits from trading and merger advising fueled record earnings, New York State Comptroller Alan Hevesi said.
Wall Street compensation averaged $289,664 per person, 5.1 times the average $56,634 for workers citywide, the comptroller said in a study released Tuesday. The highest-paid bankers and traders can command eight-figure pay packages.
Bonuses totaled a record $21.5 billion, or $125,500 per person. The securities industry paid out $48.8 billion, while generating $2.1 billion of taxes for the city, Hevesi said.
Wall Street compensation increased 21.9 percent in 2004 and another 11.8 percent in 2005, Hevesi said. The securities industry accounts for 4.7 percent of citywide employment, but 20.6 percent of its wages.
Industry employment is also on the rise, up to 170,800 last year from 161,300 in 2003.