Dallas is laying claim to a new title: Wall Street of the South.
Traditional financial centers – New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, San Franciso and Washington, D.C. – have been slowly losing jobs since 2019 and throughout the pandemic years.
Those jobs are moving to fast-growing financial centers like Dallas, Austin, Atlanta, Charlotte, Miami, Nashville and Phoenix, according to a report from JLL Research and Oxford Economics.
Since 2019, Dallas leads the nation in financial services job growth, adding 32,000 in the sector that includes banking, insurance, investment management and accounting. Dallas now trails only New York City in the overall number of financial services jobs.
“The city has a strong and diversified economy, which has been driving job growth for several years,” said JLL managing director Torrey Littlejohn. “Additionally, the city’s low cost of living, business-friendly environment and large talent pool have made Dallas an attractive location.”
Traditional financial service centers still claim 22% of the total financial services market and have recovered 97% of pre-pandemic job levels. And New York still has more than double the number of financial service jobs as Dallas, Littlejohn said.
“Firms will most likely always have their flagship locations in the Big Apple,” she said. “While Dallas has a strong and diversified economy, it does not have the same level of infrastructure and resources as New York City to support the growth of the financial services industry.”
The movement of jobs to more affordable markets accelerated during the pandemic. Since 2016, employment in growing financial hubs shot up by nearly 25%. In traditional financial markets, hiring crawled up less than 1%.
Growth markets Atlanta and Charlotte followed Dallas in adding the most financial jobs since 2019, both attracting 13,000 new positions.
Financial giants that have long been in Dallas – Bank of America, Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase – are accelerating their growth in the region. In October, Wells Fargo announced a new corporate campus in Irving to house more than 3,000 workers by 2025.
Goldman Sachs expects to have 5,000 workers in a new downtown Dallas office campus that’s expected to open in 2026.
Other big financial names also have made the move to the growing North Texas region in recent years.
At the start of 2021, Charles Schwab moved its headquarters to Westlake from San Francisco following its merger with TD Ameritrade. Another California-based financial services company, First Foundation, followed suit, relocating to Uptown Dallas’ The Crescent.
Also in 2021, Vanguard selected Plano for its fifth U.S. office, renting space in Liberty Mutual’s tower at Legacy West. It houses workers in Vanguard’s Personal Adviser Services division, which manages $231 billion in customer assets.
San Antonio-based Frost Bank launched an aggressive expansion into the Dallas market in 2021, with plans to open 28 new branches. Last year, payroll processing giant Paycom opened a 150,000-square-foot operations center in Grapevine to house 1,000 employees.
Boston-based Fidelity has about 9,000 workers in four offices in Dallas-Fort Worth, including a sprawling campus in Westlake.
“Our population is exploding and we have the ability to employ all aspects of the financial services industry from back office to investment banking,” Littlejohn said. “We may never claim the top spot, but we may come close to having a comparable number of financial services employees in North Texas.”