Wall Street
DiNapoli also estimated that the securities industry employed 165,200 workers in New YorkReuters

The average bonuses paid to securities industry workers in New York surged by 15% last year to more than $164,000.

According to pay regulator the New York Comptroller, the average award is the largest average bonus for Wall Street employees since the 2008 financial crisis and the third highest on record.

"Wall Street navigated through some rough patches last year and had a profitable year in 2013," said Tom DiNapoli, the New York Comptroller.

"Securities industry employees took home significantly higher bonuses on average."

He added: "Although profits were lower than the prior year, the industry still had a good year in 2013 despite costly legal settlements and higher interest rates."

DiNapoli also estimated that the securities industry employed 165,200 workers in New York in December 2013, which is 12.6% fewer workers than before the financial crisis.

After large job losses during the recession, employment in the securities industry in New York has stabilised.

The news comes after the industry reported profits for the broker/dealer operations of the New York Stock Exchange member firms, the traditional measure of profitability for the securities industry, totaled $16.7bn in 2013, which is 30% less than in 2012 ($23.9bn) but still strong by historical standards.

The securities industry has undergone a major overhaul since the 2008 financial crisis.

DiNapoli explained regulatory reforms are changing the way the industry does business by requiring larger reserves, limiting proprietary trading and imposing other changes intended to reduce unnecessary risk and to enhance transparency.