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Industry Spotlight > Broker Dealers

Data Says Securities Jobs Stay Steady

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Employment in the securities industry continues to show a great deal of resiliency in spite of what has appeared to be insurmountable pressure from the overall economic slowdown and the fallout over sub-prime mortgages, says Jeff Testerman at In April, the business held its own, he explains, dropping a mere 100 jobs for the month — after rising 3,000 in March.

In fact, the industry appears to have gained nearly 10,000 jobs for the year and remains near record high employment, according to Bureau of Labor statistics.

Demand has continued to be strong for producers and field-level supporting roles, especially at firms unaffected by the mortgage crisis, reports Testerman. This includes insurance-company financial advisors, independents and regional broker/dealers.

In addition, the insurance industry continues to show signs of improvement, as well, adding 2,500 jobs in April and 11,000-plus jobs for 2008. Insurance organizations continue to be among the most aggressive recruiters of financial-advisory trainees, as well as experienced representatives, Testerman says. In this sector, employment levels remain just below historical high levels set last December.

In April, overall non-farm payrolls fell by 20,000 – much less than the consensus of economists who were predicting a drop of just under 80,000 jobs. This positive surprise – coupled with favorable GDP numbers announced previously suggested that perhaps the U.S. is still avoiding a recession for now – at least by the classic definition.

In March, some 80,000 jobs were lost, well ahead of the expected 50,000, and downward revisions subtracted another 67,000 positions. For the first quarter, that means “just shy of a quarter million jobs lost,” concludes Testerman.