For years, finance grads have looked to our nation’s largest financial centers to launch their finance careers. Wall Street employs the highest number of people in the finance industry (436,000) by far, but the number of jobs in New York has declined by 7.4 percent since 2007.1
The other big U.S. financial hot spots Boston, San Francisco, Chicago and Los Angeles have also seen declines. Across the top five, a net loss of 39,000 jobs occurred from 2007 to 2012. Fortunately, jobs in the financial sector are cropping up in other cities across the nation – with a net gain of 12,000 finance jobs outside of the top five during this same time period.2
Where Are the Finance Jobs Going?
So the top five financial hot spots are losing jobs, where should you look if you’re a recent grad searching for entry-level finance jobs? If you still aspire to work on Wall Street or in one of the other financial centers, jobs are still available for the top candidates who excelled in college, achieved excellent grades and are able to stand out in a sea of applicants.
If working on Wall Street isn’t important to you, or staying closer to home (away from the big city) sounds appealing – you now have more options.
The cities that realized the most growth in finance jobs from 2007 to 2012 include:2
St. Louis, Missouri/Illinois – This city in the heart of the Midwest, the home of baseball’s Cardinals, added 5,600 jobs for an increase of 85 percent.
Washington, DC and surrounding areas – Finance jobs added near our nation’s capital amounted to 4,400 for an increase of 28 percent.
Phoenix, Arizona – Finance opportunities in the desert, home of basketball’s Suns, grew with 3,900 jobs added or an increase of 36 percent.
Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas – Deep in the heart of North Texas, the booming DFW metroplex added 2,600 jobs for an increase of 14 percent.
Some of the other growing markets for finance jobs during this same period were Des Moines, Iowa; Bridgeport, Connecticut; and Tampa/St. Petersburg, Florida.2
Why Are Finance Jobs Moving?
There are a number of reasons why more opportunities are cropping up outside of New York and other traditional financial hot spots. One of the main reasons finance degree jobs are moving is that the cost of living is lower in smaller cities and towns. Housing is significantly less expensive as are day-to-day costs. This means finance firms, banks, insurance companies and private corporations can pay employees less – which helps cut costs.
Growth in the energy and manufacturing industries, which are tied to locations near the gulf coast (Texas, Louisiana) and parts of the Midwest (Iowa, Missouri, Illinois) and portions of the Rust Belt (Pennsylvania), also prompt the necessity to add more finance positions.1
In addition, access to a skilled workforce, favorable taxes and regulations and the expansion of the virtual work model can play a role in where companies choose to operate today – whether they are in the financial sector or not.
So if you’re looking for a job in finance, the good news is that you aren’t limited to a few select cities anymore. To look for a finance job on Wall Street or Main Street, check out Doostang’s website. We specialize in helping top finance grads and MBAs find the best jobs from coast to coast.
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Kotkin, J. and Shires, M. “The Cities That are Stealing Finance Jobs from Wall Street.” Forbes website, May 31, 2013. Available at http://www.forbes.com/sites/joelkotkin/2013/05/31/the-cities-taking-finance-jobs-from-wall-street/. Accessed Nov. 20, 2013.
Cox, W. “The Dispersion of Financial Sector Jobs.” Newgeography website; Jan. 8, 2013. Available at http://www.newgeography.com/content/003387-the-dispersion-financial-sector-jobs. Accessed Nov. 20, 2013