One New York industry saw record growth as others paused during pandemic

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — The coronavirus pandemic has put nearly even industry on hold, but one sector of the economy has seen record growth amid the chaos.

Even as unemployment numbers in New York City reached over 500,000, those who work on Wall Street in the securities industry had one of their best years ever.

“They had the best first half of first year results since 2009. Profits are over $27 billion dollars,” says New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

In his yearly analysis of Wall Street’s finances, he found a variety of factors that contributed to the economic prosperity.

“Low interest rates. The liquidity in the markets. The benefit of the federal stimulus money that's been out there. The significant activity in trading related to the volatility of the markets, which certainly drove commissions,” he explains.

Though he wonders how sustainable it is.

“Wall Street’s profitability is tied to the overall strength of the economy. So, while this one sector seems to be doing very well right now. That won’t hold up if the rest of the economy continues to be in the tough shape that it’s in,” DiNapoli said.

He also says Wall Street's success is tied to Main Street, which has been pummeled by the pandemic.

“It’s concerning, because it suggests a disconnect between Wall Street and Main Street,” the comptroller said.

DiNapoli says that for every job created on Wall Street, 300 jobs are created across New York State.

He analysis also found that Wall Street is slotted to lose more than 7,000 jobs this year.

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