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Finance Jobs Vanish, But Not as Fast as Job Seekers

January 15, 2011 1 Comment

The ranks of finance and insurance workers, both employed and unemployed, thinned substantially in the past year, as the industry continued to shrink in the wake of the crisis.

The number of workers at banks and underwriters declined by 262,000 in the past 12 months, or 3.9% of all positions, according to recent data requested from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

"It's all about the implosion of the financial sector in 2008 and 2009," said Lawrence J. White, an economics professor at New York University. "Goldman is really the only place where the good times have returned...the rest of these guys are in sort of stabilization mode."

By many measures, 2010 was a dismal year for finance. In the year through November, trading volume on the New York Stock Exchange plunged by 19.6%, according to the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association. At the same time, almost $255 billion flowed out of U.S. mutual funds on a net basis.

Many of the vanished jobs were likely at the 157 banks that the federal government shut down in 2010. A number of massive layoffs also shrunk finance payroll. Hedge fund D.E. Shaw fired 150 people in September, as the company weathered a wave of redemption requests. Weeks later, Credit Suisse laid off 250 New York workers. And New York City passed out pink slips to 129 employees in its Finance Department, as it struggled to plug a hole in its budget.

Please read more in the Wall Street Journal.

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