The Wall Street job market is beginning to sour, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. Although the article is a little anecdotal, its authors appear to have gathered some evidence that the aggressive period of hiring may be coming to an end. In fact, layoffs might be ramping up. If that happens, Main Street should also begin to worry.
Here's the WSJ:
Barclays Capital, the investment-banking unit of Barclays PLC, has eliminated about 400 jobs, most of them back-office positions. Credit Suisse Group AG has warned its staff that the Swiss bank might trim 75 positions from its London office.
And other firms are contemplating cuts as they look at their bonus pools for 2010 amid sluggish securities sales and trading. The outlook for merger activity also remains cloudy despite last week's surge in deal making to its highest level since December 2009.
The back office losses could be more structural than cyclical, so they aren't necessarily a dire signal. And if front office jobs are shed due to regulatory changes, then this also doesn't say much about the state of the economy. But if Wall Street is convinced that its workforce is larger than the demand for their products and services will be over the next several quarters and begins layoffs in response, then we'll likely see unemployment rise more broadly.