The financial industry in New York City is far from booming, but after several years of negative or very slow growth, Wall Street is having a reasonably good year in 2015.
According to an October report from the office of New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli, business in the Big Apple is is good, profits and compensation are up and firms of all sizes are hiring again.
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2015 was a good year for Wall Street financial firms
The New York Comptroller’s report highlighted that the broker/dealer profits of the member firms of the New York Stock Exchange were relatively strong in 2013 and 2014 relative to the prior two years, and also noted that member profits continued to move up the first half of 2015 largely related to declining legal costs.
The good news is the securities industry in New York City continues to create jobs, and these high-paying jobs lead to job growth throughout the economy of New York City. After three consecutive years of job losses, the financial industry added a over 2000 jobs in 2014, and growth accelerated this year so that the industry was on pace to add thousands more jobs in 2015.
According to the report, the trend is positive, but the industry has not yet fully recovered: “The securities industry in New York City added 2,300 jobs in 2014 and was on pace to add more than 4,500 jobs in 2015 before recent concerns over weakness in the global economy roiled the financial markets. Despite these job gains, the securities industry in New York City is still 9 percent smaller than before the recession.”
Keep in mind that the average financial industry compensation also continues to move up steadily. The average salary on Wall Street set a new record (topping $400,000 for the first time since 2007), mainly because of larger bonuses.
On a cautionary note, the comptroller’s report points out that concerns about weaker global economic growth, particularly in China, and continued worries about if and when the Fed will finally start raising interest rates have roiled the financial markets. This macroeconomic background could have a negative impact on profits and job gains in the second half of 2015, but barring a pre-holiday market meltdown, it seems Wall Street will end the year in reasonably good shape and be positioned for a continued rebound in 2016.
See full report below.