Which US Jobs Pay The Highest Bonuses

Submitted by Nicholas Colas and Jessica Rabe of DataTrek

The number of job openings, hires and quits may have dipped in November, as shown in the latest Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, but all remain near record highs dating back to when the time series started in December 2000. Overall, the data shows a very tight labor market that will hopefully help put upward pressure on wages. We also share the job titles and industries that receive the largest bonuses according to LinkedIn. Spoiler: it is finance, not tech that takes the top spot.

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Whether or not Wall Street professionals have a good year typically boils down to their bonus. It fluctuates year to year, but is certainly a perk to make up for all the long hours. LinkedIn’s recent Salary Report shows it may pay off, as it found jobs in finance receive the largest bonuses compared to other sectors.

Here are the job titles with the largest bonuses based on LinkedIn’s Salary tool:

  • Investment Banking Associate: Median Annual Bonus ($100k), Median Total Salary ($233k)
  • Private Equity Associate: Median Annual Bonus (85k), Median Total Salary (178k)
  • Equity Research Analyst: Median Annual Bonus ($50k), Median Total Salary ($141k)
  • Surgeon: Median Annual Bonus ($50k), Median Total Salary ($350k)
  • Cardiologist: Median Annual Bonus ($50k), Median Total Salary ($360k)
  • Radiologist: Median Annual Bonus ($50k), Median Total Salary ($366k)
  • Orthopedic Surgeon: Median Annual Bonus ($50k), Median Total Salary ($450k)
  • Investment Banking Analyst: Median Annual Bonus ($45k), Median Total Salary ($125k)
  • Senior Reservoir Engineer: Median Annual Bonus ($37,500), Median Total Salary ($204k)
  • Wealth Management Advisor: Median Annual Bonus ($35k), Median Total Salary ($124k)


Health care jobs claimed many of those top spots, but industries with the highest bonuses are finance, energy and mining, and tech:

  • Finance: Median Annual Bonus ($12,300), Median Total Salary ($81,800)
  • Energy & Mining: Median Annual Bonus ($11,400), Median Total Salary ($91,500)
  • Software & IT Services: Median Annual Bonus ($11,300), Median Total Salary ($104,500)
  • Hardware & Networking: Median Annual Bonus ($11,200), Median Total Salary ($101,500)
  • Consumer Goods: Median Annual Bonus ($10,800), Median Total Salary ($79,500)
  • Healthcare: Median Annual Bonus ($10,300), Median Total Salary ($84k)
  • Manufacturing: Median Annual Bonus ($9k), Median Total Salary ($84,800)
  • Entertainment: Median Annual Bonus ($8,300), Median Total Salary ($78,500)
  • Corporate Services: Median Annual Bonus ($7k), Median Total Salary ($75,600)
  • Construction: Median Annual Bonus ($6,700), Median Total Salary ($77,800)


Link to the report here.

Any bonus helps, especially with little upward pressure on wages over the past few years. Fortunately, last Friday’s jobs report showed average hourly earnings tick up by one tenth to 2.5% year-on-year. In order to gauge wage pressures and the health of the labor market, we always review the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS). It is a one-month delayed take on the state of employment and gives a more complete view of the workforce than the Employment Situation report, as it is based on a larger population sample.

Given that the time series dates back to December 2000, we put the numbers in the latest report for November in perspective by comparing them historically. Here is what we found:

#1 Hires: The number of hires dropped by 1.9% m/m to 5.49 million in November, but was still up 4.3% y/y. The number of hires as a percentage of the civilian labor force was 3.4% compared to the historical average of 3.2%. The highest was 4.0% in January 2001. Other than the early 2000s, this ratio was also slightly higher in the mid-2000s during some months than the current level. It hit a low of 2.4% in March 2009. Overall, the level of hiring is strong, but still has some room to grow.

#2 Job Openings: The number of job openings fell for a second consecutive month after registering above 6 million three months in a row for the first time. Openings were down 0.8% m/m to 5.88 million in November, but still up 4.4% y/y.

The number of job openings as a percentage of the civilian labor force was 3.7% compared to the average of 2.6%, a high of 3.8% last September, and a low of 1.4% in July 2009. Job openings over the past few years have also bested levels during the mid-2000s when it usually fluctuated around 3%. In 2017 through November, this ratio always exceeded 3.5%.

Bottom line, employers’ appetite for new employees is very strong.

#3 Quits: The number of people voluntarily leaving their jobs fell 0.4% to 3.17 million, but increased 3.1% y/y. This is our favorite number in the report as it measures worker confidence to find a better opportunity. The number of quits as a percentage of the civilian labor force was 2.0% in November compared to the average of 1.7%, a high of 2.4% in January 2001, and a low of 1.1% in September 2009. Over the past year, this ratio has registered levels during the mid-2000s, but has not broken out above 2% like in the early 2000s.

Bottom line: strong, but still room for improvement.

Our “Take this job and shove it” indicator – or quits to total separations – was 61.0% in November compared to the high of 62.2% in September 2016. Near record highs, it bests any level achieved before the last recession.

#4 Layoffs and discharges: Layoffs and discharges slipped 0.4% m/m to 1.69 million and are up 1.6% y/y. The number of layoffs and discharges as a percentage of the civilian labor force was 1.1% in November compared to the average of 1.2%, a low of 0.95% in September 2016, and a high of 1.7% in January 2009.

Overall this figure remains low relative to historical averages.

In sum, employers’ interest to add employees nears record highs, while layoffs near record lows. Hiring is healthy, but is not keeping pace with job openings, indicating employers’ difficulty finding qualified workers as noted in the Fed’s Beige Book reports. The number of workers choosing to quit their jobs is also strong, but still below levels achieved in 2001.

Our takeaway: this data suggests a very tight labor market, which should continue to help put upward pressure on wages and overall inflation. Yesterday we outlined the challenges of getting wage growth to accelerate in 2018. Today’s JOLTS data confirms we’ll need to see some truly outstanding labor market data this year before wages can finally accelerate.

 

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