While profits tripled and layoffs commenced in the banking industry last year, Wall Street divided at least $20 billion in gifts made of cash and stock among its employees.

The numbers come Tuesday from New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, whose office analyzes bonus data based on taxes paid to New York City and the state.

DiNapoli said bonuses rose 8 percent in 2012 and the average extra payout was $121,900. Meanwhile, profits within the New York Stock Exchange — which excludes many real estate and investing firms — tripled from $7.7 billion to $24 billion.

The world’s top 40 hedge fund chiefs earned a total of $16.7 billion last year, Forbes reported Tuesday.

At JPMorgan Chase’s investor conference in Manhattan on Tuesday, Chief Financial Officer Marianne Lake said the firm expects to shed 4,000 employees over the next year — mostly by not replacing workers who decide to leave. But it anticipates keeping the amount of cash it spends on compensation “relatively consistent,” she added.

— Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

The Guardian:

The 2012 figure is well below the record average from 2006 of over $191,000. But it shows that bonuses have remained high through the financial crisis; in 2002, for example, the average bonus was only $60,100, according to DiNapoli’s data.

Finance jobs currently pay about 5.34 times more than any other industry in the private sector, according to DiNapoli. “These are good jobs if you can get them,” he said.

While the financial rank and file continue to do well, the riches for the elite skew much higher. Hedge-fund managers, for instance, get to keep more of their profits compared to bankers, and the results are visible in their pay.

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