It looks like Wall Street is getting back on track; numbers indicate they could post higher profits this year. More importantly, this could put an end to three straight years of declines.
Reports show that the industry had an impressive $11.3 billion in profits through the first half of 2015, though an unusual set of losses in the fourth quarter slowed the earnings down to close the year at $14.3 billion in profits.
Of course, there is no reason to expect the same will happen this year and New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli predicts that Wall Stree will, in fact, end the year with its first YOY increase since 2012.
“Barring a major setback the industry is on pace for higher profits,” he comments. “We don’t see anything on the horizon to suggest we’ll have a negative fourth quarter as we did last year.”
He also explains that the average securities industry salary—including bonuses—was $388,000, which is down from the $404,800 average salary from last year.
However, he adds, “It was still far higher than any other major industry in the city.” The New York Democrat reminds that the average salary across New York City private sector jobs is $74,100.
It also seems—or perhaps the two are related—Wall Street appears to be focusing more uptown. Indeed, recent reports indicate that half of all securities jobs were once located in Lower Manhattan (in 2000, for example). These days, roughly two-thirds of all jobs are in Midtown with only about 19 percent now in the area surrounding Wall Street.
Of course, securities jobs make up not even 5 percent of the private-sector employment in New York City but still generate 21 percent of the private-sector wages. Furthermore, the industry generated roughly 18.5 percent of state tax collections in the last fiscal year, and also supports—either directly or indirectly—about 1 out of 10 jobs in the city.
According to Wall Street advocate and Partnership for New York City CEO, Kathryn Wylde comments that DiNapoli’s report is encouraging while also deriding government regulation, something she believes actually hinders job growth.
Wylde says, “This year’s Wall Street report reaffirms the continued importance of the financial industry to New York as a major source of good jobs, economic activity and tax revenues. But it also reflects the negative impact of increased regulation on industry employment, which should be a cautionary note for legislators and policy makers.”