These graphs are an attempt to illustrate how much is paid in staff bonuses in the House of Representatives.
Because bonuses numbers are not reported as such, the bonuses must be inferred from the salary payment data. To infer bonuses, we have calculated the total amount paid in staff salary for each quarter. Where payments straddle two quarters, we have prorated the amounts to assign to the proper quarter. From the total amount paid, we calculated average salary per employee by finding the number of staffers working at the midpoint of each quarter. We excluded staffers who were interns or were part-time.
The red lines in these graphs represent the quarterly salary of the average congressional aide over time. The blue bars represent the percentage increase in average payments per House aide over the average of the previous three quarters. This should approximate the holiday bonus paid to each staffer.
(Because of the way the U.S. Senate provides its data in six-month intervals, bonuses are harder to decipher from the data.)