The average bonus on Wall Street edged higher last year, and the industry added jobs for the first time since 2011 even as profits in the securities sector fell, New York state's budget watchdog said on Wednesday.
The average bonus rose 2 percent in 2014 to $172,860, while the overall bonus pool increased 3 percent to $28.5 billion. Bonuses rose as pretax profits at the broker-dealer operations of New York Stock Exchange member firms fell 4.5 percent to $16 billion.
"Industry profits were lower because of weakness in fixed income and commodities trading, higher capital reserve requirements and the continued cost of legal settlements," said the report by New York state comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.
New York City's securities firms added 2,300 jobs during the year, an increase of 1.4 percent to 167,800 workers. It was the first time the industry added positions since 2011.
The industry is still smaller by 11 percent, or more than 20,000 jobs, than it was before the 2008 financial crisis, DiNapoli said.
The comptroller's report provides early hard estimates of the bonus pool for securities industry employees in New York City during the traditional December-to-March bonus season.
The estimate is not an exact view of 2014 bonuses because it reflects cash bonuses and deferred pay from which taxes have been withheld, but not stock options or other forms of deferred compensation.
Nor does the estimate include bonuses paid to employees outside New York City.