Wall Street Bonuses Expected to Increase 8%

Cash bonuses paid to New York City securities industry employees are forecast to rise by 8 percent to $20 billion during this year’s bonus season, according to estimates by New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli.

That would put the average bonus at $131,652.

That’s because the average cash bonus rose an estimated 9 percent to nearly $121,900 last year, according to the comptroller’s office.

“Wall Street is still in transition, but it is slowly adjusting to changes in its economic and regulatory environment,” DiNapoli said. “Profits and bonuses rebounded in 2012, but the industry is still restructuring.’’

The comptroller also said:

•Employment totaled 169,700 jobs as of December 2012 — 1,000 fewer jobs than one year earlier.

•The securities industry in New York City lost 28,300 jobs during the financial crisis and has added only 8,500 so far during the recovery, a net loss of 19,800 jobs.

•The average salary, including bonuses, in New York City edged up slightly to almost $362,900 in 2011. That is the latest data available and is a higher average than before the financial crisis.

• Profits for the broker/dealer operations of New York Stock Exchange member firms, the traditional measure of profitability for the securities industry, totaled $23.9 billion in 2012. That is three times the $7.7 billion earned in 2011.

DiNapoli said regulatory reforms are requiring larger reserves, limiting proprietary trading and imposing other changes intended to reduce risks.