The US labor market may be booming — but it’s been a bloodbath on Wall Street.
A recent wave of layoffs from some of the biggest banks is making it harder than ever to get a job on Wall Street, recruiters and other insiders say.
On Monday, banking giant HSBC announced more than 4,750 layoffs as the company looks to rein in costs — a culling that brings the total number of bankers out of work this year to more than 23,000 globally.
HSBC’s announcement comes on the heels of more than 18,000 cuts from Deutsche Bank, and hundreds more from Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and other powerhouses that have slimmed ranks this year.
While it’s unclear how many of those positions are based in New York City, local recruiters say they’re being flooded by résumés — a glut that is making it tough for anyone who’s not a top-tier candidate to find work.
“On the sell side, it’s turning out to be a big year for layoffs in comparison to the last three years,” Michael Karp, co-founder of Options Group, told The Post. “It’s not a pretty environment to go on a search for a finance job, even if the unemployment rate is 3.7 percent.”
Driving the layoffs are a combination of factors, including a major reshuffling at Deutsche Bank that will lead to the elimination of roughly one in five jobs.
Banks are also getting hit by President Trump’s trade war, which has caused institutional investors and other major clients to step back from trading even as big names like Uber have had initial public offerings.
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Adding to banks’ woes, the Federal Reserve cut its base interest rate for the first time since 2008 — decreasing what banks can earn on mortgages and other loans. It could cut again this year if President Trump gets his way.
“It’s a tough time if you’re an average performer,” Alan Johnson, CEO of Johnson Associates, told The Post. “If you’re good or very good, it’s not a bad time.”
The 2019 Wall Street doldrums have gotten so bad that headhunters are even recommending their banker clients look elsewhere for work.
“This is a great time for people to look at their careers and explore other avenues, like fintech, crypto and the new job economy,” said Options Group’s Karp.
The most in-demand types of jobs, Johnson said, are in technology and operations, and banks are continuing to hire aggressively in those positions.
“It’s surprising,” Johnson said. “The markets and the real economy can be up and Wall Street can be down. The real question is, when the markets and real economy are down, then what happens to Wall Street?”
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