Tags: Fortune Wall Street Braces for Tidal Wave of Layoffs

Fortune: Wall Street Braces for Tidal Wave of Layoffs

By    |   Monday, 30 April 2012 11:21 AM

Wall Street is preparing for a tsunami of layoffs, financial experts believe. In fact, the new wave could rival the financial crisis, reports an article in Fortune.

The financial industry may slash 21,000 jobs in New York alone and even more worldwide, according to Fortune.

Financial firms eliminated 28,000 jobs in the financial crisis in 2008 but that number included the collapse of Bear Sterns and Lehman Brothers, Fortune notes. Unlike four years ago, stocks are up and bank earnings are doing well.

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During the last two years, firms added positions and now look ready for a substantial retrenching.

Boston Consulting Group forecasts that big Wall Street firms will cut 12 percent of their workers in the near term.

"The estimate is probably low," Steve Potter, a recruiter at Odgers Berndtson, told Fortune. "Large layoffs are a virtual certainty."

Big banks, the article points out, face numerous challenges, including fewer than expected merger and acquisition deals, new regulations that stifle trading operations, and possible rating agency downgrades.

The good news is that small investment banks have been hiring. "Hiring is going on, it's just not by the big banks," recruiter Gary Goldstein of Whitney Partners told Fortune.

The financial services sector has not exactly been a job growth machine in recent years.

The 100 largest metro areas lost a total of 459,400 financial services jobs over the last four years, including everything from bankers, employee benefits counselors, and insurance, stock and real estate brokers, according to The Business Journals.

New York lost 48,600 jobs, Los Angles lost 40,300, and Chicago lost 35,800, noted The Business Journals, which analyzed numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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