July 16, 2009 / 5:16 PM / in 8 years

UPDATE 1-NYC securities firms add 1,400 jobs in May, June

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(Recasts, adds city's jobless rate, details, background, byline)

By Joan Gralla

NEW YORK, July 16 (Reuters) - New York City's high-paying securities companies added 1,400 jobs in May and June, after "hemorrhaging" workers since around August 2007, a labor market analyst for New York state, said on Thursday.

But the city's unemployment rate rose to 9.5 percent in June, the highest rate since July 1997, the analyst, Jeff Weissenstein, said.

The city's jobless rate, which is seasonally adjusted, now matches the national unemployment rate. The city's jobless rate in May was 8.9 percent, and in the year-earlier month it was 5.4 percent.

The securities industry, the driver of the city's economy, now has a total of 164,500 employees, Weissenstein said by telephone.

Employment in New York's securities industry peaked in December 2000, with workers, he said. The industry numbers are not seasonally adjusted.

But even as the securities industry showed positive signs, the broader financial industry -- finance, insurance and banking but not real estate -- continues to struggle.

The sector had 315,900 employees in June, a loss of 37,700 positions from August 2007, Weissenstein said.

"There have been months where there have been increases but overall it's a huge loss," he said, adding that the sector has shed jobs every month this year.

The jobs figures come as two of Wall Street's biggest banks, Goldman Sachs (GS.N) and JPMorgan Chase (JPM.N) , reported big gains in second-quarter profits.

But Mayor Michael Bloomberg has repeatedly cautioned that the banks and brokerages might not owe taxes for years because they can offset earnings with steep losses from prior years.

New York City employers overall added a total of 5,900 workers June, compared to 11,000 people hired a year-ago, Weissenstein said.

The Bronx, the city's poorest borough, had the highest jobless rate in June at 11.7 percent in June, Weissenstein said. Staten Island had the lowest rate at 8.2 percent rate. Borough data is not seasonally adjusted.

New York state's unemployment rate climbed to 8.7 percent in June from 8.2 percent in May and from 5.3 percent a year-ago. State rates are seasonally adjusted. (Editing by Leslie Adler)

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