Business

Resurgent New York financial industry gives bankers, insurance experts another shot

interns Contributor

Employment is rising at financial-services companies in New York, with bankers and insurance professionals among the most desirable of candidates in an industry still recovering from heavy losses two years ago.

From the end of February through May, financial-services employment grew by 6,800 in New York City—the largest three-month increase in nearly two years, according to data from the New York State Department of Labor. The employment boost is the largest such gain within the industry since it reported the addition of 7,200 positions from May to August 2008.

“The war for talent has intensified,” said Michael Karp, co-founder of Options Group, a financial-services executive search and consulting firm.

Large banks are replenishing infrastructure and support staff slashed during the financial crisis and recession and in some cases bolstering staff in key businesses such as equity derivatives and commodities. Midsize firms and boutiques still see opportunities to boost their market share with professionals that have big-bank experience.

And, significantly, layoffs have slowed, a change that James Brown, a principal economist with the New York State Department of Labor, called “the biggest factor over the last few months.”