JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc. all continued hiring in the fourth quarter, while at Wells Fargo & Co., head count dropped, according to fresh figures provided by the banks on Friday.
Employment numbers at banks are a closely watched sign of health in the business, as well as being an indicator of spending power among higher-paid workers on things like luxury real estate and other high-ticket items.
Although JPMorgan, Bank of America and Citigroup are working to shore up their balance sheets in uncertain economic times, they ended the year by adding more staff. Any changes to head count after Dec. 31 as a result of cuts or hiring will be reflected when the banks report first-quarter results.
At the end of 2022, the pace of hiring compared with the previous quarter slowed at JPMorgan and Citigroup but held steady at Bank of America.
ended the fourth quarter with 293,723 employees, up 1.7% from 288,474 in the third quarter.
In the previous quarter, JPMorgan’s head count grew by 3.6% to 288,474 at the end of the third quarter, up from 278,494 at the end of the second quarter.
Brian Shepardson, a portfolio manager at James Balanced Golden Rainbow Fund
which owns shares of JPMorgan Chase, said the bank’s head-count increase mostly met expectations.
“The head-count number is not a great surprise — they didn’t add a tremendous amount of people where it will impact costs,” he said. “They’re really good at looking ahead to see where they’re going next.”
Meanwhile, Bank of America
ended the fourth quarter with 216,823 workers, up 1.7% from 213,270 in the third quarter. The company’s head count grew by 1.6% in the previous quarter, from 209,824 to 213,270.
ended the fourth quarter with 240,000 workers, up 2,000 or about 0.8% from 238,000 in the third quarter. In the three months ended Sept. 30, Citi hired about 7,000 workers to increase its ranks by 3%, to 238,00 from 231,000.
ended the fourth quarter with 238,698 people on staff, down by 511 from 239,209 at the end of the third quarter and below the year-ago level of 249,435.
Just this week, Wells Fargo said it would reduce the size of its lending business.