While most Americans fears layoffs, SWIFT continues to increase its staff in the Americas, especially in New York, it emerged from a recent press briefing by the body that sends payments and messages about them around the world.
SWIFT increased its staff in the America's region by 10 percent last year, while New York alone has added 10 percent each year from 2005 through 2007. Meanwhile, in the economy overall, the unemployment rate rose to a psychologically significant 5 percent for the first time in over two years.
SWIFT opened a new office in San Francisco this year and another is to open in Miami by yearend, the member-owned co-operative noted at its annual mid-year briefing.
In New York, center of the securities industry—and source of SWIFT's biggest growth as its broadens the purpose of its bank payments system in the age of the Internet—most of the new recruits are sales and support staff.
Commenting on SWIFT's 2007 results, David Pryce, acting head of the Americas for SWIFT remarked, "You might have thought Asia was going to be the strongest growth area but, in fact, the Americas remain the leader in traffic." Messages in the first half of this year are up 14.6% globally and 18.5% within the Americas alone, compared with the same period last year.
If any further proof was needed that the world is increasingly becoming a global village, with worldwide communication a daily norm, Mr. Pryce noted that https://www.swiftcommunity.net/ -- "a forum and blogging site distinct from our web site" has added 5,000 users worldwide since it was introduced late last year.