The U.S. commercial banking industry employs 1.45 million people, according to the American Banker/Tower Group survey. The majority - 760,000, or 52% of the total - are employed on the retail side of the business.

Here are other industry employment figures, by line of business:

*Management support, management information systems, and related tasks employed some 380,000 people, or 26% of all bank jobs.

*Traditional commercial banking activities ranked next in staff levels by business line, with 10% of the total, or 150,000 jobs.

*Trust and custody services provided work for 95,000 people, or 7% of the total.

*Capital markets employed 55,000 people, or 4% of the total. Employment in this business is expected to grow to 10% by 1998.

*International banking activities represented less than 1% of the industry's jobs, or 10,000 people.

But these numbers may represent the calm before the consolidation/restructuring storm, which has since gathered momentum. A recent Deloitte & Touche study predicted 450,000 banking jobs will be eliminated by 2000. That study also forecast that as many as half of all bank branches will close during the same period.

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