Hire Wire Sep 15 2011

Wall Street Employment Stagnates

By brett philbin

Wall Street employment in August rose 1.4% from a year ago, but was higher due to hiring in the second half of 2010, as job growth in the industry has stalled in 2011, according to the New York State Department of Labor.

Overall, Wall Street--a key contributor to the economies of New York City and state--reported 170,300 employees last month, up from 168,00 a year earlier. But employment in the industry has remained flat for much of the year as banks have slowed hiring and cut some staff in the midst of economic concerns and volatile equity markets in the U.S. and Europe.

"We really haven't gotten any job growth [in financial services] to speak of," said James Brown, an analyst with the Labor Department in an interview.

While employment in the industry typically rises in the summer due to the addition of interns at the banks, Brown said he expects the sector to drop back to a headcount of about 168,000 in the fall, roughly in line with trends a year ago.

The New York Labor Department, which releases employment data monthly, said headcount in investment banking and securities dealing in New York City fell 2.2% to 43,900 in a month, in which the mergers and acquisitions market slowed.

Within securities brokerages, headcount--which includes jobs such as financial advisors--rose 3.3% to 63,100, though was up only 0.3% from July.

The Labor Department employment statistics may not fully reflect employment trends at the biggest banks. Some of the categories include back-office personnel, and data are also gathered from smaller institutions, which could skew the overall industry figures.

Brett Philbin is a reporter for Dow Jones Newswires, where this story originally appeared. Write to him here.




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