September marked the four-year anniversary of the terrible and traumatic events of 9/11. And so, we felt it was appropriate to take a look back at the effect that this had on the market and upon employment within our industry. Perhaps we can shed some light on the interaction between the stock market as reflected by the Dow Jones Industrial Average and employment within the Securities Industry (SI).

By January of 1999 the bull market was 11 years old with the Dow having risen from (what now seems an unbelievably low level of) 1,950 to more than 9,000. During the same period, employment in “The Business” had grown steadily to a level just above 700,000 people. During the next two years, SI employment continued its climb, reaching a peak of 840,900 people in March of 2001 and by August the number had declined by a mere 3,400 jobs, in spite of a struggling stock market.

But it is what happened during the next few years that affected the lives and livelihood of tens of thousands of families and has left a lasting scar in our collective memory. In fact we could argue that we are still paying a price today, only having recovered just more than half of the jobs that were lost.

The 9/11 shock waves sent the market plummeting, reaching a low one year later of 7,539, a Dow level not seen since August 31, 1998, and eventually shaving nearly 90,000 jobs, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. The employment market bottomed in October of 2003 and in retrospect — it seems incredible that it took the employment market two years to even begin its journey to recovery!

We are now nearly two years into an improving jobs environment for our industry — it has been a cautious climb — employers have been slow to react to the improving markets. This reinforces the axiom that employment is a lagging indicator of what is happening with the economy and at least a year behind the leading indicators of the financial markets.

The Outlook

We see continued slow and steady improvement for jobs in our sector with solid demand for good producers with emphasis on a well-balanced book of business.

The areas most affected by the slowdown were “overhead” types of positions, such as sales assistants and operations personnel. Salaried professionals such as analysts and investment bankers were also hit very hard by the downturn. recently conducted two surveys to determine the mood of the employment market within the Securities Industry — one survey was for firms and the other for candidates looking for new job opportunities.

Firm Survey

The firms participating in the survey included HR personnel, recruiters, and branch managers from banks, wire houses, regional & local firms, independents, insurance companies and registered investment advisories.

Here are some


Over 66 percent of the respondents said that they would be recruiting for Retail Registered Representatives during the last half of this year. Other positions in order of response were sales/branch managers, trainees, and sales assistants.

- Over 73 percent of firms responding indicated that they would be hiring more people this year than last.

- Referral programs were rated the most effective recruiting tool followed by Internet employment job websites.

Candidate Survey

BrokerHunter is also pleased to report that nearly 75 percent of the candidates who found a new job say that they were glad they moved and are content in their new situation.

Many would like to see a greater variety of job openings, including salaried positions for operations, compliance, and sales assistants which should be more abundant as sales forces strengthen and employment conditions continue to improve.

This is the fourth year that we have conducted employer and job seeker surveys. The overall outlook and mood is more positive than we have seen yet, pointing to another year of steady and, hopefully, sustainable growth in securities industry employment.

About, (www.BrokerHunter .com) founded in 1999, is the leading Securities Industry career website in the nation with over 40,000 candidates and 2,000+ job postings from hundreds of branches and firms. BrokerHunter has offices located in suburban Atlanta, Ga.