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The Upstate Economy

Wall Street upswing boosts NY state jobs, tax revenues

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Ryan Delaney
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WRVO News file photo
New York state Comptroller Tom DiNapoli.

Despite a tumultuous summer, Wall Street saw its best performance in the first six months of this year since 2011. A report from the New York state comptroller's office released Tuesday found that the securities industry earned more than $11 billion first half of 2015, a 29 percent increase from the same period last year. In addition to higher profits, Wall Street salaries, bonuses and employment are all on the rise.

State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said all New York residents can share in the success. In a conference call, DiNapoli said the industry generated $12.5 billion in state tax revenues during the 2014-2015 fiscal year, or 17.5 percent of all state collections.

“A strong Wall Street is good for the bottom line for our city and state economy, for our city and state budget as well," DiNapoli said.

Despite only representing 5 percent of New York City's private workforce, the securities industry has strong ties to job development throughout New York. According to the report, 1 in 15 jobs statewide are directly or indirectly affected by Wall Street. And, for each position it creates, another job is added elsewhere in the state.

Wall Street added 2,300 jobs in 2014 and was on pace to create an additional 4,500 this year before turmoil ensued. Volatility in global markets, particularly in China, and fear of the Federal Reserve raising interest rates sent gains tumbling.  

“There’s no doubt the industry is facing challenges now and in the months ahead, but we do think again because there was such a strong first half of half of the year, that 2015 is on track to be a positive and a strong year for the securities industry, for Wall Street and therefore for New York City and New York state as well," DiNapoli said.

DiNapoli acknowledges that even in the wake of such job growth, the securities industry is not yet fully recovered, employing 9 percent fewer today than before the recession.