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UK – City Hiring up strongly year on year

28 January 2014

The December 2013 London Employment Monitor produced by Morgan McKinley recorded a -42% decrease in City job availability – from 7,056 vacancies in November 2013 to 4,095 in December 2013. Despite this, however, the year-on-year statistics paint a more positive picture, with new roles up by +51% compared to the same month in 2012.

Professionals actively searching for new career opportunities fell to 4,214 in December 2013, from 8,623 in November 2013, signifying a -51% month-on-month decrease. Year-on-year data points to continued optimism amongst City job seekers, as the number of candidates pursuing new roles was up +45% on December 2012 figures.

Hakan Enver, Operations Director, Morgan McKinley Financial Services, commented:

“City recruitment is always faced with a number of challenges during December. There are typically only three weeks of core business before organisations start to shut down for the Christmas break and few candidates are willing to move jobs in the run up to the holiday. This December, the situation was further exacerbated by the fact that certain institutions were encouraging their contractor population to take extended days leave in order to maintain their cost base. In addition, while some organisations had budgets signed off in December, many have waited until the New Year to release vacancies.”

“Despite these short-term issues, year-on-year the statistics for both hiring and active job seekers are still very encouraging, with levels up 51% and 45% respectively. Moreover, historically we see a massive boost in City recruitment come January and 2014 looks to be no different.”

“Looking specifically at the types of placements being made in December, the volume came largely once again from governance related positions – which are plentiful given the on-going regulatory changes – as well as roles across support, finance, IT and change management.”

“Looking ahead into 2014, we predict continued optimism in the City. With the EU also improving - in particular Ireland exiting the international bailout programme and returning back to the bond markets, and Greece taking better control of its finances and its economy stabilising – there is certain to be a positive knock-on effect on City employment.”

“Without wanting to sound negative however, the one word of warning I would make in terms of 2014, is that the optimism could be short-lived if more banks continue to face hefty fines for various trading irregularities or misleading of clients. Any fines will bite into their profit margins and ultimately this could have a negative impact on hiring.”

The average salary increase for those securing new jobs in December 2013 was +27%, compared to +15% in November 2013. Enver continued: “There were only two other occasions throughout 2013 when average salary increases exceeded 20% - January and August.  These shorter and often considered quieter trading months, point to more senior level, niche recruitment taking place.”

Chart 1 - Financial services jobs new to the market December 2013

Chart 1: Financial Services jobs new to the market December 2013

Chart 2 - Job seekers available both in and out of employment December 2013 (1)

Chart 2: Job seekers available both in and out of employment December 2013

Chart 3 - Average change in salary each month December 13 (1)

Chart 3: Average change in salary each month December 13

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