MarketWatch is reporting Wall Street hiring machine goes idle.

After years of buildup, employment levels flatten and cuts loom. The turbulent environment for stocks and bonds has stalled another booming market: the one for jobs on Wall Street.

Hiring has slowed or seized up at many firms including Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. (LEH) and Citigroup Inc.(C) where 17,000 job cuts were announced in the spring. And more layoffs loom in many areas in the investment- banking industry in the wake of the August credit crunch, particularly in businesses such as credit trading and structured products, analysts and job recruiters predict.

“Substantial losses from this credit debacle are unquestionable,” said Sean Springer, chief executive of Napier Scott Executive Search Ltd., a London-based firm that helps banks, hedge funds and law firms track down talent in debt, credit, currency and emerging markets. “If investment banks hire when their profits increase, it’s fair to assume the reverse is true when they suffer unforeseen losses.”

Investment banks have already started cutting jobs and some firms have imposed hiring or headcount freezes, said Springer. U.S. banks usually stop hiring towards the end of the year, in late September or October, he explained. But this year, some stopped in August, he said.

Now that housing is dead I keep asking “what is the next big source of jobs?” No one has yet come up with an answer.

It clearly is not Wall Street, financials, credit card growth, consumer spending, retail, commercial loans, leveraged buyouts, or capital spending. Whatever it is (if it is indeed anything at all) can it possibly make up for expected declines in housing, financials, credit card growth, consumer spending, retail, commercial loans, and capital spending?

Health care has been strong. But can it make up for declines in all the other areas? It does not take a genius to figure out the answer to that question is no. We all can’t get rich off Medicaid and Medicare can we?

Mike Shedlock / Mish/