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UK – City recruitment falls -37% in a year but job seeker number up

12 August 2013

The July 2013 London Employment Monitor registered a decrease in job availability of -9% from 7,749 vacancies in June 2013 to 7,056 – a slight drop after rises in May and June.  Compared to the same time last year, the figures show a decrease of -37% from 11,277.

Professionals looking for new positions numbered 7,752 in July 2013 from 7,203 in June 2013 – an +8% increase. Additionally, the year on year figure for those actively seeking new career opportunities shows an increase of +63%.

Hakan Enver, Operations Director, Morgan McKinley Financial Services commented: “While it is disappointing to see a drop in hiring levels after the gradual rises recorded in May and June, the seasonal effect of the holiday period cannot be underestimated. It is not unusual for hiring processes to stall somewhat during July and August and we would expect to see vacancy levels recover again in September.”

“While the evolving regulatory environment is obviously still a big driver of demand, we have seen clear evidence of increased trading activity leading to opportunities for Trading Accountants, and Management Accountants as well as further openings in Product Control and Regulatory Reporting. This is backed up by the latest PWC Financial Services Survey which points to the fact that while cost control and regulation remain a priority for the sector, there is also an increasing focus on growth,” he added.

“As regulatory pressures on financial institutions intensify, there are also a number of major change programmes underway calling for experienced project change specialists around Basel III, Dodd Frank and EMIR - and with MIFID2 in the pipeline - this is a trend likely to continue for at least the next 18 months. Interestingly, there has been a 63% increase in active job hunting compared with the same time last year. This increasing appetite for exploring new career opportunities suggests that confidence levels are continuing to improve. This trend is reflected in the Ernst & Young Capital Confidence Barometer, which has reported that 42% of respondents expect to hire talent or create jobs — a strong improvement from 28% recorded in October 2012,” Mr Enver continued.

“While there were fewer jobs coming onto the market during July, the macroeconomic factors do appear to be showing signs of stabilising. We have seen a resurgence of mergers and acquisitions activity and according to the Ernst & Young Capital Confidence Barometer, 72% of senior executives expect global M&A volumes to improve. Additionally, the recent GDP figures coupled with positive data from the services, retail and automotive sectors all point to the possibility of a more sustained recovery during the final two quarters of the year. And with the PWC Financial Services survey reporting that a third of financial services firms admit that the availability of professional staff has re-emerged as a factor which could have a major impact on their ability to grow, effective resource planning and investing in efficient hiring strategies will be key,” he said.

The average salary for those securing new jobs in July 2013 rose again by +17% compared to a +15% increase the previous month.

Hakan Enver continued: “While cost control is still a major concern, these average salary increases show that organisations are realising that in order to attract top talent, they have to be competitive with their remuneration structures.  In fact just last week HSBC announced that it would be looking at the possibility of increasing base salary levels to offset the effects of the impending EU bonus cap. With many institutions making a large proportion of their profits outside of the EU, this could be a precedent that others follow.”

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