New York City Sheds Jobs As Wall Street Profits, Bonuses Surge

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Wall Street, the literal eight-block stretch of offices in lower Manhattan, has fewer jobs, even as Wall Street, the collective industry of financial services, is smashing records.

So says a new report by New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, the beancounter who took a magnifying glass to how the coronavirus pandemic impacted the state’s securities industry.

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The DiNapoli’s report focused on the shift from employees working in the city to those in the suburbs and beyond, while noting the move hasn’t adversely affected profits or pay:

  • New York lost 3,600 employees in the securities industry in 2020, a 2% dip, and is expected to lose another 4,900 in 2021 — with the nation at large gaining 23,000 jobs in the securities industry during that time.
  • Profits have surged 12.5% year-over-year through the first half of 2021, with the industry raking in $31 billion, according to the report.

The New York exodus may just be a temporary change, but it is certainly enough to challenge the city’s status as the center of the industry: NYC’s share of jobs in the securities field is now just 18% — its lowest mark in 30 years, down from 33% in 1990.

Bonus Round: With a rise in profits comes a rise in bonuses. Bankers are expecting a 6.5% increase in yearly bonuses, according to the report, and the average annual Wall Street salaries has spiked 7.8% since 2019.

What Goes Up…: 2021’s first six months marked the second-most profitable first-half ever for the industry. But the report came with a note of caution: interest rates are rising, monetary stimulus is fading, and record profits are likely to subside.

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Demand destruction is a fallacy. Demand hasn’t evaporated, it has simply transformed.
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(Photo by Adolfo Félix via Unsplash)

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