Is the city’s biggest bank getting ready to flee? That worrisome question flared up this week following a Bloomberg News report that JPMorgan Chase & Co. — the largest private employer still based in the city — may move thousands of jobs from New York to its other outposts, including in Texas, Ohio and Delaware.
In fact, although the bank itself didn’t officially comment, it seems clear the reality is not so dire. JPMorgan isn’t abandoning its ancestral home — not yet, anyway.
After all, site-preparation work is continuing at JPM’s planned new 270 Park Ave. headquarters, a 70-story supertower slated for completion in the mid-2020s.
The possible JPMorgan job shifts described in the Bloomberg story are actually part of an old story: For decades now, major banks have been shifting back-office and support functions from Manhattan to less pricey areas across the country.
Yet, even as Manhattan loses solid middle-class jobs in finance, New York city and state tax revenues are at record levels. That’s largely because — for now at least — a large share of Wall Street’s top earners remain concentrated in the city.
In that context, a more telling harbinger of trouble ahead was the announcement last month that Carl Icahn plans to move himself and his hedge fund to Florida by early next year.
E.J. McMahon is research director at the Empire Center for Public Policy and an adjunct fellow at the Manhattan Institute.
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