July 05, 2011

Job news on Wall Street is bad. Really bad. But there might be hope on the other side of the Atlantic.

Cuts on Wall Street have been a cyclical occurrence for years, with jobs ebbing and flowing with the economic tide. But this time the situation is different: it might not just be a case, like in the past, of simply riding out the recession. According to experts, the latest cuts are from jobs that might not be coming back at all -- or at least, not any time soon.

Since the beginning of 2011, Goldman Sachs cut 5% of its staff, Credit Suisse shed 400-600 jobs and Barclays pink-slipped 700 people. More layoffs are in the pipeline.

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, "it isn't a stretch to think that employment could fall to 2003 levels, meaning another 50,000 job cuts. And, in a worst-case scenario, the decline could feel like a throwback to pre-tech bubble days, when the industry employed 100,000 fewer people than at the end of March."

But if you found the latest job news as hard to digest as your July 4th barbecue, fret not: there is promising news from the other side of the pond.

In the UK, recruitment in the financial sector rose unexpectedly in the last three months, to its highest level since before the financial crisis began in September 2007, according to a report from PriceWaterhouseCoopers and CBI.

Before you book that air ticket, you should of course note that it isn't an entirely rosy picture in the UK financial sector.

Last week Lloyds Banking Group of the UK announced that it will cut 15,000 jobs by 2014.

Growth in business volumes across the UK financial services sector slowed in the second quarter, and is expected to slow further in the next three months.

According to the BBC, Andrew Gray, UK banking leader at PwC, warned: "Concerns about economic recovery and demand have caused a dip in banks' confidence."

Nevertheless, the number of people employed in the UK financial industry rose by 11,000 in the second quarter, the fastest job growth since 2007.

And despite the slowdown in business volume, the value of fee, commission or premium income rose sharply for the second consecutive quarter, while the value of net interest, investment or trading income grew at its fastest rate since March 2007, according to reports.

Ian McCafferty, the CBI's chief economic adviser, called the rise in employment in the sector "both heartening and unexpected," the BBC reported.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Melanie Rodier has worked as a print and broadcast journalist for over 10 years, covering business and finance, general news, and film trade news. Prior to joining Wall Street & Technology in ...