Wall Street Q4 Hiring Picture Improves

August 22, 2003 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The good news about Wall Street hiring for the remainder of the year is that - for a few more firms than earlier this year - the news is not bad.

According to a survey by Wall Street Services Inc., a financial services staffing company, nearly three in four (72%) of the executives contacted said their staffing levels would remain unchanged during 2003, Dow Jones reported. That was up slightly from the 69% who gave that assessment in the second quarter, in the regular survey of Wall Street staffing and bonuses.

There was some other good news in the survey. The number of firms still looking to slash their workforce dropped to 2% in the latest poll from 5% in the second quarter. The survey found 14% believe they will augment their staffs with consultants and contractors, compared with 12% in the second quarter.

Also, salary budgets seem to be opening up a bit. Of those surveyed, more than half (53%) expect to grant raises to exempt, or salaried, employees this year, up from 44% in the second quarter. More than half of those surveyed also expect to grant raises to nonexempt employees, up from 35% in the earlier poll. Perhaps not surprisingly, in view of those trends, 53% of executives expect a bonus this year, up from 46% in the second quarter.

The survey, conducted by telephone last week, interviewed 100 executives and managers at a variety of stock and bond brokerages, investment securities firms and financial advisors in New York. The survey was first conducted in the second quarter.