Brakes Applied to Employment Growth in Banking, Securities Fields, Study Says; Deregulation Erases Expansion Factor; New York Could Be Exception

Article excerpt

CHICAGO -- Employment growth in tha banking and securities industries will slow -- and possibly even decline -- in the near future, according to a study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

New York City, whose economic growth since 1978 has been largely due to the rapid employment growth in the banking and securities industries, may fare better than the country as a whole, the study says. But even in New York, the hub o the financial services industries, the growth rate is expected to be slower than it has been since 1978.

The study says that bank employment in the country has been essentially flat during the last six quarters, something that hasn't happened since the early 1960s.

Employment growth in the securities industry has been robust, but the study cites several reasons why growth may be slower. First of all, during the second quarter of 1984, employment growth at New York Stock Exchange member firms declined. It was the first such decline since the last quarter of 1977.

Also, the retail functions of securities firms, which are the most labor intensive, are declining as individual investors now invest through pension systems and mutual funds.

Brokerage firms also are likely not to have dramatic employment growth in their retail sales forces because of financial pressures. The total pretax net incomes of New York Stock Exchange member firms peaked in the last quarter of 1982 and have been falling ever since.

And even though securities firms' revenues have increased since 1978, real commission revenues have been flat. Forces Behind the Growth

The study -- "Structural Change and Slower Employment Growth in the Financial Services Sector" -- states that growth in bank employment between the early 1960s and mid-1970s was fueled by four factors. First, the role of banks in the economy was expanding as bank assets grew, on average, faster than the gross national product. …