Insights from the UK and beyond
from Felix Salmon:
It's amazing how much coverage a thinly-sourced press release can elicit:
If you look at the PDF with the numbers in it, there's no indication at all of where the numbers being cited come from, or what exactly they're measuring. The idea, here, is that we're trying to measure "jobs in the wholesale financial service sector", which will include some but not most lawyers and accountants, if that helps.
In any case, Ben Walsh helpfully turned the press release into a chart:
This of course says basically nothing about which city if any is the financial capital of the world. If there were more wholesale finance jobs in Tampa than there are in London, that wouldn't make Tampa an international financial capital.
What's more, we can basically ignore the forecasts and extrapolations -- everything in light grey. You think Hong Kong is going to add 70,000 new wholesale finance jobs in the next five years? Well, it might, I suppose, depending on a multitude of factors including what happens to money and banking regulations in mainland China.
The one thing that's clear from this chart is that the 2008 financial crisis hit the US hardest, in terms of financial job cuts, while the European crisis which began a couple of years later was the point at which European jobs started getting shed. To be honest I'm a little surprised at how few jobs were lost in London during the 2008-9 crisis, but that might be a function of the way in which the Europeans tended to support their banks rather than encouraging them to consolidate, merge, and generally shrink.