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This Monday, July 15, 2013 file photo shows the American flag and Wall St. street sign outside the New York Stock Exchange, in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

PHOENIX -- A new survey by Forbes magazine said the Phoenix area leads the list of cities that are taking financial jobs away from Wall Street.

The number of financial jobs in Phoenix jumped over 7 percent last year and over 12 percent since 2008.

Joel Kotkin conducted the study for Forbes. He said that because of the Internet, companies and financial workers no longer have to remain in New York, Boston, San Francisco or other financial bastions. He said that they can now move to cities with more sun -- and lower costs.

Phoenix has the advantage of having both.

"My $150,000-a-year salary in Phoenix buys me an upper-middle class lifestyle," said Kotkin. "In New York, it basically puts me next to the homeless guy by Grand Central Station."

Kotkin thinks the trend of more financial workers moving to Phoenix will continue, but that the Valley needs to attract more high-end jobs.

"You don't want to just be customer service," Kotkin said. "That's great to have those jobs, but can you do more sophisticated functions?"

According to Forbes, San Antonio, Tex., Austin, Tex. and Nashville, Tenn., are other cities that are luring financial jobs away from New York.

Bob McClay, Reporter

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