(CBS NEWS) — Wall Street employees saw their typical annual bonus slip by 17 percent last year to $153,700, according to new data from the New York State Comptroller. But don’t feel sorry for the banking set just yet — even including down years like 2018, bankers’ bonuses have jumped by 1,000 percent since 1985.
By comparison, the federal minimum wage has increased about 116 percent during the same period, according to an analysis from the Institute for Policy Studies, a left-leaning research center that used the comptroller’s latest data. If the minimum wage had grown at the same pace as Wall Street bonuses, fast-food workers and other low-wage workers would earn a baseline wage of $33.51 an hour, the group said.
The total Wall Street bonus pool last year was $27.5 billion, or more than triple the combined earnings of the 640,000 U.S. employees who earn the federal minimum wage, which has stood at $7.25 an hour since 2009. More states are boosting their minimum wages in response to criticism that the federal baseline pay isn’t enough to provide a living wage.
At the same time, pay for the top-paid U.S. workers has surged, creating a rich-get-richer phenomenon that some economists say is.
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