While the market may be strong for bank managers hunting for a job, the impact of consolidation and downsizing is intensifying for the industry overall.

Industry employment fell 1.1%, to 1.46 million, from the fourth quarter of 1995 to the first quarter of this year, according to the latest figures from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. That may not sound like much. But the drop came after an overall increase in jobs during 1995.

Another measure of that statistic's significance can be seen in a comparison of absolute number of jobs lost - about 26,000 - with the total for the first half of the '90s. From 1990 to 1995, the number of banking jobs fell by just 35,000.

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