Profits among Wall Street firms reached $8.7 billion for the first half of 2014, falling 13% below the same period last year, said a report issued Tuesday by Thomas DiNapoli, New York state comptroller and sole trustee of the $180.7 billion New York State Common Retirement Fund, Albany.
The first-half profit is “a solid number,” Mr. DiNapoli said Tuesday in a telephone news conference. However, he added that full-year profits for 2014 “may not reach last year's number” primarily due to “non-compensation expenses,” such as costs to settle legal claims emanating from the financial crisis of 2008.
Mr. DiNapoli's annual Wall Street report measures profitability as the pre-tax profits of broker-dealer operations of firms that are members of the New York Stock Exchange.
Broker-dealer industry profits were $16.7 billion for 2013, down 30% from 2012, “which was still good by historical standards,” the report said.
Mr. DiNapoli also said securities industry employment in New York City continues to shrink, falling to 162,400 by August. His report estimated financial firm employment is down 15% compared to before the financial crisis.
In the past three years, the industry has lost 10,500 jobs, including 2,600 from August 2013 through August 2014. “It is clear that Wall Street is still an industry in transition,” Mr. DiNapoli said.
Mr. DiNapoli's report estimated that 11% of New York City jobs and 6% of New York state jobs are “directly or indirectly associated” with the securities industry.
Although the securities industry accounts for less than 5% of New York City's private-sector jobs, it “directly accounts for more than one-fifth of the city's private-sector wages,” the report said.