By Bruce Kelly
The market has been up for the past year, but looking for work on Wall Street is still extremely daunting.
Hiring by investment banks, money managers and broker-dealers remains a mixed bag. Some see the potential for more layoffs, while others say that hiring, albeit on a very selective basis, is beginning to creep back.
Employment on Wall Street and in the securities industry was on the rise over the summer, reaching levels not attained since August 2002, according to the Securities Industry Association, a trade group in Washington.
But it slumped again in August to 800,600, down 2,000 from July after surging by 6,700 jobs in June. Nevertheless, employment remains above the low of 793,700 in May, due to the early summer's "enormous increases," according to the most recent SIA employment report.
In fact, the June increase was the largest monthly gain in three years, according to the SIA.
Although the market is more robust, with the Standard & Poor's 500 stock index up 2.2% in the third quarter, after a gain of 15% in the second, hiring is precarious, according to industry observers, analysts and headhunters. For the 12 months ended Sept. 30, the S&P 500 had climbed 17.1%.