BUSINESS

Look: Toronto Beats NYC When It Comes To Finance Jobs

Canada has been churning out new finance jobs, even as the U.S. has been losing them.

11/24/2017 08:05 EST | Updated 11/24/2017 08:17 EST

If you're in New York City looking for work in high finance, you may want to consider moving to Toronto. No, seriously.

Canada's largest city and financial centre has seen jobs in finance soar over the past decade, while New York and other U.S. financial capitals have seen the number of finance jobs decline over the same period.

That's according to a new report from the Conference Board of Canada, which drew up this chart showing Canadian cities experiencing job growth in finance over the past decade, while U.S. financial capitals saw jobs disappear.

Conference Board of Canada

Between 2006 and 2016, the number of financial jobs grew by more than 25 per cent in Toronto, an increase of nearly 55,000 jobs, while the number shrank, overall, in New York City. That shrinkage in U.S. financial payrolls is the legacy of the financial crisis of 2008, the Conference Board says.

"In all the U.S. metro areas included here, financial services employment fell drastically in 2008. What is more, a recovery has not fully transpired," the Board said in the report released Thursday.

But that financial crisis didn't hit Canadian banks nearly as hard as it hit U.S. ones.

Watch: The highest paying bank jobs

While U.S. cities struggled to recover from the crisis, Toronto has been going from strength to strength. The city has been climbing in the lists of global financial capitals, recently ranking as the seventh most important financial capital in the world, up six spots in a year, in the Global Financial Centres Index.

But there is one way that Toronto ranks number one: it has the highest share of financial jobs, as a percentage of all jobs, of any city in the world, the Conference Board report noted.

Conference Board of Canada

When it comes to dependence on finance jobs, Toronto and Zurich, Switzerland, are "in a league of their own," the Conference Board said. Some 8.5 per cent of all jobs in Toronto and Zurich are in finance, compared to around 6.5 per cent in New York and London.

In fact, things may be getting a little too enthusiastic in Toronto's financial sector. A recent LinkedIn report found that Toronto has an oversupply of banking professionals. The city could use a few more health care professionals, on the other hand, the report found.

Will robots take finance jobs?


Looking forward, there is some question as to how secure financial jobs are these days. Automation in financial services or fintech, as it's come to be known promises to completely upend banking, insurance and other financial services.

Vikram Pandit, the former CEO of Citigroup, predicted earlier this year that 30 per cent of bank jobs could disappear in the next five years, due to advances in robotics and artificial intelligence.

(Another bank CEO — Casper von Koskull of Sweden's Nordea Bank — predicted it would be more like 50 per cent of jobs lost over 10 years.)

"Everything that happens with artificial intelligence, robotics and natural language — all of that is going to make processes easier," Pandit said on Bloomberg TV this past summer. "It's going to change the back office."

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