For a short period there were some people worried that the economy was on the brink of stalling once again after some less-than-desirable figures relating to employment were released. However, those concerns were at least partially alleviated today as the latest jobs report showed a rebound in hiring numbers.
The March employment situation summary, released monthly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, showed a disappointing 126,000 increase in jobs – 200,000 is considered a good month. Worse yet, Friday that number was revised down to 85,000 jobs added in March. However, the lingering sour taste over last month's lackluster hiring summary has been masked by the sweet sensation of 223,000 jobs added through April, while the unemployment rate remained steady at 5.4 percent.
Weak hiring that characterized the first quarter gone for now
The unexpectedly slow rate of hiring during the first quarter has ben attributed to a number of temporary factors , such as harsh winter weather and and a since-resolved labor dispute between the International Longshore and Warehouse Union and its management group, the Pacific Maritime Association. March had been the weakest such stretch of hiring in 15 months, potentially due to these factors, but April's employment figures indicate that the effects of the weather and contract dispute in early 2015 are dissipating.
Business and professional services had a notably strong month, regarding hiring, this past April. The employment situation summary indicated that this sector added 62,000 jobs last month, after averaging 35,000 over the previous three. These numbers are indicative of the continued strength of the financial sector, as well as the ongoing demand for college-educated workers for top finance jobs and other similar openings. Total job gains over those previous three months averaged 191,000, with the figures for February being revised up to 266,000 from 264,000 in the initial report.
Finance hiring likely driven by the need for compliance officers
Regarding Wall Street hiring specifically, the focus remains on compliance jobs as firms work to adhere to regulations quickly as legislators continue to roll out new stringencies for banks and other money management businesses. Following the financial crisis in 2008-2009, compliance and anti-money laundering jobs at big financial firms started gaining steam, and the push for these sort of professionals hasn't slowed much since.
"Regarding Wall Street hiring, the focus remains on compliance jobs."
Jason Wachtel, a legal recruiter who runs the search firm JW Michaels & Co., explained to Reuters that he knew of a potential compliance officer who was offered $1 million to head up an anti-money laundering program, something he noted would have been unheard of in the not-too-distant past. The kicker – he turned the offer down, a sign that experienced compliance professionals may have the upper hand in the the current job market.
Still though, Wall Street isn't what it used to be 10 years ago, and getting hired could take some extra effort. If you're having trouble tracking down the sort of top finance jobs you're in search of, OneWire might be a good place to start looking. The U.S. economy has looked over the edge, back at the potential for stagnation, and turned its back, at least for the month of April – here's to hoping the most recent trend continues.