According to CBS News, bankers’ bonuses have jumped 1,000 percent since 1985. In comparison, the federal minimum wage increased approximately 116 percent in the same period. If the minimum wage grew at the same pace as a Wall Street banker’s bonus, minimum wage would now be $33.51, according to the Institute for Policy Studies.
In total, the Wall Street bonuses last year totaled $27.5 billion, which is more than three times the combined earnings of the 640,000 employees in the U.S. who earn a minimum wage. Federal minimum wage has been $7.25 an hour since 2009. Many states have boosted their minimum wages in response to criticism that the federal minimum wage is not enough to live on.
Wall Street executives being given larger bonuses may be exacerbating income inequality and widening gender and racial pay gaps because most of the executives are white males.
The bonuses for executives come on top of an average salary of $422,500 in 2017.