New York State Comptroller’s Office Reports Slow Growth in Securities Jobs on Wall Street

Slow growth in Wall Street securities jobs

In its October 2013 report “The Securities Industry in New York City,” the New York Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) revealed sluggish job growth in the city’s securities industry as compared to employment growth in the private sector overall.

During the economic recovery, job growth in the entire private sector in New York City (NYC) has been strong, with twice as many jobs added than were lost during the recession, or 335,000 jobs. The securities industry hasn’t faired nearly as well, in fact less than 1 percent of jobs added were in securities, or 2,300 jobs. Overall, the OSC estimates that there are 13.5 percent fewer securities jobs in NYC now than there were prior to the financial crisis.

Reorganization and Streamlining Slow Job Growth

The New York OSC doesn’t expect rapid growth in securities employment any time soon, and predicts that the securities industry will continue to adopt a reorganization and streamlining mindset as it attempts to manage ongoing regulatory changes and a recovering economy.

Of the 2,300 securities jobs that were added, many were in specialized areas such as risk management and regulatory compliance (no surprise).

So if you’re hoping to launch your career in finance at a Wall Street firm in the near future, focusing on these specialty areas may increase your odds.

Economic Impact of Securities Industry in NYC Still Huge

While the outlook for securities jobs on Wall Street may be cautious at the moment, the industry itself has been profitable. According to the report:

In 2012, the securities industry earned $23.9 billion.

In the first half of 2013, the industry earned $10.1 billion.

And if you’re fortunate to be among those employed on Wall Street, you’re still averaging a significantly higher income than employees in other sectors. Granted, income levels took a hit during the financial crisis, but compensation is nearing the peak levels experienced in 2007 (an average salary of $401,500 was reported for that year) before the economy took a turn.

In 2012, the average salary for NYC securities employees was $360,700 – more than five times that of employees working in private sector jobs outside of the securities industry ($69,200 on average). Keep in mind that NYC is the worldwide headquarters of the finance and securities world, and some of the highest-paid securities employees are based in the city.

Nonetheless, while only 5 percent of private sector jobs are in securities, the industry accounted for 22 percent of private sector wages earned in 2012.  And the economic impact doesn’t stop there.

Increase in Securities Jobs Leads to Job Growth Elsewhere

Along with earning a sizeable income, high-paid workers, regardless of where they live, can help boost the economy simply because they have more disposable income and spend more money.

As it relates to securities careers in NYC, the OSC estimates that this translates to jobs added (or lost) in other industries:

One job created (or lost) in the securities industry = two jobs added (or lost) in other industries.

Clearly, the securities industry in NYC plays a crucial role in the city and state’s economy. Only time will tell when the growth in jobs in the industry will accelerate. If you’re looking to jump-start your finance career with an entry-level finance job on Wall Street, be prepared.

You might consider focusing on the specialized regulatory and risk management niches to get you in the door faster, or give yourself the edge and contact Doostang. We specialize in helping top finance and accounting grads and MBAs stand out. Visit our website to learn more.

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DiNapoli T.P., Bleiwas K.B. “The Securities Industry in New York City.” Office of the State Comptroller, State of New York, Report 7-2014. October 2013. Available at Accessed October 22, 2013.