Should We Care That Wall Street Is Hiring Again?

Wall Street is hiring again. The New York Times suggests it could be a leading indicator of an imminent economic recovery. Sounds more like a lagging indicator of the financial sector's extraordinary post-bailout run:

The shift underscores the remarkable recovery of the biggest banks and brokerage firms since Washington rescued them in the fall of 2008, and follows the huge rebound in profits for members of the New York Stock Exchange, which totaled $61.4 billion in 2009, the most ever. Since employment bottomed out in February, New York securities firms have added nearly 2,000 jobs, a trend that is also playing out nationwide at financial companies, commodity contract traders and investment firms.

Though the figures are small in comparison to overall Wall Street employment, executives, economists and headhunters say they expect the growth to pick up steam in the coming months.

"I think we're seeing some hiring in anticipation of better times," said Rae Rosen, a regional economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. "Wall Street typically hires in anticipation of the recovery, and there is a sense that the economy has bottomed out and is slowly improving."

Important lesson here for folks thinking about starting a business. If you are in an industry where numerous competitors have just died and the federal government has backstopped your losses with more than a trillion dollars in easy money, you just might find yourself in the market for hiring faster than other sectors in the economy.

Read the full story at the New York Times.