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Inside views on the jobs market

Opinion: Demand for displaced bankers will still exist

By Reuters Staff
September 30, 2008

John A. Challenger is chief executive officer of global outplacement and business coaching consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. The opinions expressed here are his own.

challenger.jpgThe turmoil that is shaking Wall Street to its core could eventually go down as the worst financial crisis in American history. We are already hearing comparisons of the current situation to the bank failures and stock market crash that ignited the Great Depression in the 1930s.

While we will have to wait to see the full historical impact of the credit market collapse on the economy, one thing is already certain: the crisis has reaped a heavy toll on financial sector jobs, leaving tens of thousands unemployed and with little hope of re-employment in the same line of work.

Since August 2007, when the collapse began in earnest, financial institutions have announced nearly 200,000 job cuts. This year, job cuts in the sector have reached 103,000 through August. When the dust settles from the most recent flurry of bank closings, seizures and rescues, we could see another surge in layoffs, which would probably push 2008 job cuts beyond last year’s record total of 153,105.

Unfortunately, the job cuts are not isolated to those who created this situation. They impact everyone, from the fund managers and traders to human resources professionals and administrative assistants.

The big question on the minds of the newly jobless: what now?

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