Will Wall Street Jobs Spring to Life?

By Tanya, Wall Street Services Reporter

It’s a new week and America learned on Friday that the national jobless rate finally dropped below 9% for the first time in nearly two years, according to the Labor Market report. The nation gained 192,000 jobs in February.

Also last month, the private sector, which has recovered much slower than the public sector since the recovery began, added 217,000 jobs. This is higher than the 189,000 gained in January.

Professional and business services firms throughout the U.S. added 47,000. The financial activities sector (finance, insurance and real estate) ticked upwards by 3,000. Let’s also note temporary services. The BLS always values data in this space because it provides an entry into the workforce, and a bridge to full-time employment for many workers.

Here is a snapshot from the BLS Report

Feb-10 Dec-10 Jan-11 Feb-11
Financial activities -9 12 1 3
Professional & business services 31 58 35 47
Temporary help services 23 43 -5 15

In New York City specifically, the city overall regained 76,300 private jobs, 47% of the jobs lost, according to the NYS Comptroller’s office.

In past recessions, Wall Street was a primary driver for economic recoveries. But this was not the case throughout 2009 and 2010. While other sectors improved, it was still handing raining pink slips in the Financial District. Wall Street job losses peaked in August 2010 at 30,900. One of every six jobs lost in New York City during the recession was in the securities industry, which could reach up to 40,000.

But preliminary data shows that Wall Street is beginning to add jobs back to the market.

Subsequent months after the August 2010 peak showed gains of about 3,000 jobs per month. The state comptroller’s office is undergoing a restatement in March which could show upward revisions. By the end of 2010, city economists were reluctant to conclude that Wall Street was adding jobs on a sustained basis. But if the March restatement shows the industry is adding jobs, the state and city economies, and tax collections, will certainly benefit.

When Mayor Bloomberg presented his budget proposal last month, he accredited the financial services industry for propping up New York City’s economy. But even when job growth truly resumes, the resulting tax revenue will not be enough to solve the city and entire state’s budget woes. The New York State’s budget is more dependent on Wall Street tax revenue than any other industry.

The mayor also touted a sharp improvement in the tourism industry, but we’ll leave that for Big Apple Double Decker Tours to explore.