Feb 8, 2024 - News

Des Moines' losing its finance reputation

A Wells Fargo sign

Wells Fargo sign. Photo: Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

The city's financial industry — once touted as a national beacon that elevated the metro — is shrinking amidst layoffs and pandemic-related changes, Tyler Jett of the Des Moines Register reports.

Why it matters: Jobs at major employers like Wells Fargo and Nationwide pay some of the highest salaries in the metro. Those employees then invest and spend money elsewhere locally.

Driving the news: Since 2017, local employers in the financial activities sector cut 2,500 jobs — a 4% drop over the last six years, according to the Register's analysis.

  • Employers from similar industries nationwide actually increased their payrolls by 9% during the same time period.

Zoom in: Wells Fargo, Des Moines' top job driver for two decades, also became the source of the area's biggest losses following the company's fake accounts scandal in 2016. The company has cut 1,400 local jobs since 2017.

Between the lines: Flexible remote work policies at other local companies could also be allowing more workers to leave for other cities.

Worthy of your time: Read the first in a series from the Register


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