Wall Street Bonuses Still Make A Mockery Of Your Salary

Even after their first expected drop since 2011, the average yearly pay out to Wall Street is more than 90 percent of the average American household income

Nov 09, 2015 at 3:26 PM ET

Most Wall Street bonuses are expected to drop this year for the first time since 2011, but the average bonus will still be more than three times what the average American made in 2014.

The yearly Wall Street bonus is predicted to fall to somewhere between 5 and 10 percent, according to a new report by the compensation consulting firm Johnson Associates. This is the first drop Wall Streeters will notice in their bonuses in four years, when the average bonus dropped by more than 20 percent, the report said. New regulations on banks and slow growth this year have hit the industry hard enough that big league bankers will take a hit.

But even when you take a 5-10 percent chunk out of a banker’s bonus, that bonus ($155,574 to $164,217) will still be equal to 3.5 times more than the average American income of 2014, which was $44,569. That bonus is more than the average income for 90 percent of American households, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The drops in bonuses during 2002 and 2003 reflect economic losses after the terror attacks on September 11, 2001. New York City alone lost an estimated $30.3 billion in GDP in the last three months of 2001 and all of 2002, according to a Congressional report released in 2002. The next year, the average bonus surged by 64 percent in 2003, when the economy rebounded with a jump in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. It grew every year after that until the recession in 2007. The crash of 2008 had the biggest impact, essentially cutting bonuses in half. Still, at that time, bonuses averaged over $100,000.