U.S. banks' 2021 hiring show lenders are seeking talent far beyond Wall Street

·2 min read
FILE PHOTO: A man is seen silhouetted wearing a protective face mask, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, walking near the financial district of New York City

By Elizabeth Dilts Marshall

NEW YORK (Reuters) - More than half of the new employees banks and other financial services companies hired in 2021 are based in Orlando, Dallas and other cities - far from Wall Street - as the battle for talent pushed companies to cast a wider net for candidates, according to a study published on Thursday.

Global real estate management company JLL, which manages office buildings for many of the world's biggest banks, found that 51% of all finance jobs filled last year were in Orlando, Dallas, Austin, Tampa, Indianapolis, Nashville, Seattle, Charlotte, Atlanta and Miami.

This marks a notable shift from before the pandemic when financial firms were just beginning to build hubs in secondary markets like Salt Lake City and Charlotte, the report said.

Dallas and Austin saw more than 6% growth in the financial services sector in 2021, with nearly half a million people working in that field in those cities.

Banks are facing stiff competition when hiring for technical and management jobs, said Sanjay Rishi, the head of JLL's Americas works business.

"The drive to find talent is the big challenge," Rishi said. "They have to source it from not just the traditional cities they have sourced from, but also these tech cities like Austin."

Tesla Inc, Oracle Corp and Hewlett Packard Enterprise all moved headquarters to Austin in recent years from higher-tax states like California.

The shift in recruitment patterns are occurring as some Republican states like Texas target corporate practices that lean on or take sides on progressive cultural themes like fossil fuel lending curbs.

Last year, Texas banned state entities from working with companies that discriminate against firearms or fossil fuel companies, leading some banks to pull back from the municipal bond business there.

More recently, companies like Citigroup Inc have started covering travel costs for U.S. employees seeking to access abortion services outside states where it is tightly restricted. [L2N2VJ2DE]

(Reporting by Elizabeth Dilts Marshall; Editing by Bernard Orr)

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