Layoffs on Wall Street Continue to Swell


New York, NY – Based on data collected by global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. layoffs on Wall Street for the first eleven months of 2011 are up significantly over the same time last year as financial services firms struggle due to continued weakness in the housing market, the ongoing crisis in Europe, and increased government regulation.

Wall Street Layoffs Rise

According to the most recent data reported by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, financial services firms announced 1,681 job cuts in November, bringing the year-to-date total for the sector to 56,191.  This is up 162% from 21,430 layoffs in the sector by this time last year, though well below the recession high of 260,110, which was the year-end total in 2008.

Wall Street has shown increased weakness over the past three months, as layoffs in the financial services sector surged almost 700% for the September through November period this year when compared to the same period in 2010.

Hiring Plans Post Modest Gains

While layoffs on Wall Street are rising, so are announced hiring plans, albeit more modestly.  Plans by financial services firms to hire new employees totaled 2,370 in November – the largest single monthly gain in planned hiring in all of 2011.  This put planned hiring at a total of 9,000 for the first eleven months of this year.

Over the September through November period, planned hiring on Wall Street totaled 3,809 – a 150% increase over the hiring plans seen in the same three month period last year.

Recent Employment Developments

This relatively weak data is consistent with recent news from Wall Street regarding layoffs.  Last week, Morgan Stanley announced that 1,600 employees will lose their jobs in the first quarter of 2012.  Bank of America recently announced plans to cut almost 30,000 jobs by the end of 2012, and Citibank recently confirmed plans to lay off 4,500 staff.  Last week, Credit Agricole, also said that it would cut 2,350 jobs.  This is on top of announcements by UBS and Barclays to cut approximately 3,500 employees each, and Goldman Sachs which has said it would eliminate roughly 1,000 positions.

The rather bleak employment outlook on Wall Street has resulted from a number of factors, including falling investment banking revenue, weak trading commissions, the European debt crisis, increased government regulation, and a weak global economy.

Unfortunately, few see the Wall Street employment picture improving anytime in the near future.  According to estimates by Rochdale’s financial services analyst Dick Bové, at least another 150,000 employees on Wall Street will be fired in 2012.


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