NEW YORK (Dow Jones)–Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) paid its employees an average of $367,057 for 2011, a decline of 15% from a year ago, reflecting the tough times experienced by banks and securities firms since last spring.
The investment bank, known for rewarding its bankers and traders with the highest payouts among Wall Street investment banks, set aside $12.2 billion for compensation and benefits for the full year, down 21% from the $15.4 billion it allocated a year earlier. Last year, Goldman paid employees an average of $430,700…

“Most of us had been anticipating a bad fourth quarter for Wall Street and [the banks] definitely came through with that,” said Alan Johnson, managing director of Johnson Associates, whose firm publishes a widely watched compensation survey.  Johnson said that while compensation disclosures so far have reflected lower payouts, they don’t necessarily tell the full story.

“Compensation is down a lot for most, even though it doesn’t look like it,” he said, referring to previous stock awards which are included in the current figures and tend to somewhat cloud results.

Dow Jones / January 18, 2012