US minimum wage would be $44 if it increased at same rate as Wall Street bonuses

US minimum wage would be $44 if it increased at same rate as Wall Street bonuses
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The national wage in the United States would be just over $44 (£32) if it had increased at the same rate as Wall Street employee bonuses.

New analysis from Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) found between 1985 and 2020, the $7.25 (£5.27) national minimum wage remained largely the same while the average stock market employee bonus increased by 1217%, from £13,970 to $18,400.

To add insult to injury, these bonuses come on top of the Wall Street salary and other compensation.

The national minimum has not budged since 2009 leaving those on the lowest wages struggling to keep up with the ever-rising cost of living.

Sarah Anderson, Director of IPS’ Global Economy Project, wrote: "While low-wage workers are still waiting for a raise in the minimum wage, Wall Street employees enjoyed a 10% bump in their bonuses in the first year of the pandemic.”

The analysis found the rapid increase of Wall Street bonuses have contributed to racial and gender inequalities given women and people of colour were disproportionately more likely to receive lower salaries.

The stock and financial industry is overwhelmingly made up of white men, with CEOs of the five largest investment banks in the US in 2020 being such.

Anderson wrote: “Because the very rich can squirrel away much of their income, huge Wall Street bonuses don’t have nearly the stimulus effect as raising pay for low-wage workers who have to spend nearly every dollar they make.”

The IPS report came as Democrats introduced a proposal to raise the minimum wage to $15 (£10.91).

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