“Financial services and banking has too many people,” said Alan Johnson, the head of compensation-consulting firm Johnson Associates Inc., who predicts the industry’s headcount will shrink 10% by mid-2021 from its level as the pandemic began. “Next year is going to be very low hiring. There’ll be some layoffs.”

One silver lining for job hunters now is that the industry’s unemployment rate of 3.1% last month is much lower than in sectors hit harder by the pandemic, such as the 15.9% rate for hospitality and food services, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So for now, competition for openings isn’t too harsh.

Expect that to worsen in the coming months, said Johnson, the consultant.

“Firms are not hiring at the levels they were,” he said. The trajectory of economic recovery “is so unknown and it’s so uncertain and it’s so significant, and you overlay the pandemic and remote working and Zoom — if you’re a laid-off employee, this is a very difficult set of circumstances.”

Bloomberg / November 10, 2020