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UK – City job vacancy numbers falter in February

10 March 2014

The number of jobs available in the City fell by -6% during February 2014 compared with the same month last year, according to the February 2014 London Employment Monitor from Morgan McKinley. There was an increase of +11% in City jobs availability, however, compared with the previous month, with vacancies rising from 7,623 vacancies in January 2014 to 8,442 in February 2014. 

On an annual basis, there was a considerable increase of +68% in City jobseeker numbers, as workers continue to feel confident about the prospect of securing new roles. On a month-on-month basis, there was a +6% increase in February, compared with January.

Hakan Enver, Operations Director, Morgan McKinley Financial Services, commented: “After a marked surge in City recruitment in January, this month’s monitor has continued to register an upward curve, with 8,442 available vacancies – a healthy figure in the shortest month of the year.  It’s evident that, on the whole, firms remain confident to hire and importantly, they are continuing to create new positions rather than simply taking on replacement hires.” 

“In terms of London’s financial sector, the improving IPO market is one factor fuelling jobs growth.  Recent weeks have seen a procession of companies lining up to float on the London Stock Exchange. This surge to capitalise on a buoyant equity market spells good news in terms of jobs creation, and will have a positive knock-on effect as far as hiring in the rest of the financial services sector is concerned.” 

“Elsewhere, operational risk also kicked off the year with a strong appetite to hire and February continued this trend across both buy and sell side institutions.  Many clients have been hiring at all levels, across contract and perm, with the main requirements to bring on operational risk practitioners who have a mix of framework design and implementation, ICAAP and ILAA experience.  The requirement from the PRA (Prudential Regulatory Authority) and FCA (Financial Conduct Authority) for firms to further develop their risk frameworks and make them more robust is still a priority,” Mr Enver continued.

“As we reported last month, generally we’re seeing a strong uplift in the contract jobs market, as City hiring managers seek to test the water. On the other hand, the permanent jobs market remains slightly more challenged and particularly slow to hire – often hiring managers will see 10-15 candidates in order to provide a benchmark and will then be required to go through a repeat sign off process once they have found the right person.”

“Despite a generally positive picture, as ever there are two sides to the coin, with a significant proportion of firms still cautious about investing in human capital.  In particular, companies with high exposure in emerging markets appear the most hesitant to make any imminent increases to their headcount.  While some organisations are waiting until the bonus period is completed to start hiring, others are more nervous, especially in light of recent redundancy announcements made by many of the major UK banks.”

The average salary increase for those securing new jobs in February 2014 was +15%, compared to +20% in January 2014.

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