Being a banker just isn't quite as good as it used to be.
The gap between what bank employees make and what other private-sector workers earn is getting smaller, according to new research by the consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) for the Financial Times. According to the research, bankers were paid 5.8 times more than the private-sector average last year, down from 9.5 times the private-sector average in 2006. PwC analyzed pay at nine U.S. and European investment banks.
Meanwhile, banks are eliminating thousands of jobs in the face of the weak economy. Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase recently announced that they plan to cut thousands of jobs, and Goldman Sachs has 3,300 fewer employees than it did two years ago, according to Reuters.
Perhaps as a result, many bankers want to call it quits. According to a recent poll, 41 percent of Wall Street workers were ready to leave the financial industry in 2012, up from 35 percent the year before.
But don't feel too bad. Bankers still get paid far more than most of us. While the average Wall Street pay package slightly rose to $362,900 in 2011, the median U.S. household income fell to $50,054 in 2011, according to the Census Bureau.