In 2009, the federal minimum wage in the US was set at $7.25 an hour and has remained stagnant ever since.
In the meantime, Wall Street’s pockets have only gotten bigger. A report from Inequality.org shows that if the minimum wage had grown at the same pace as traders’ salaries, it would currently be set at $61.75 an hour.
Last year, the average Wall Street bonus clocked in at $257,500 in addition to annual salaries according to data from the New York State Comptroller. To put it in perspective, in 1985, the average Wall Street bonus was $13,970 without inflation adjustments, meaning that bonuses have grown by 1,743% since this time.
Even more staggering, the 2021 average bonus for traders was a 20% increase from the year prior. Simultaneously, the average weekly earnings for most US workers grew by just 2%.
According to Inequality.org, these findings indicate the need for raising the minimum wage, as well as the need to implement provisions in the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act, which bars financial firms from rewarding traders for taking unwise risks.