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UK — Financial services hiring starts year on a positive note

12 February 2010

The Employment Monitor for January 2010 published by recruitment consultancy Morgan McKinley, reveals that hiring levels across the UK financial services sector show a return to growth.

January 2010 saw a healthy 60% rise in London's financial services job opportunities from 2,898 in January 09 to 4,646, indicating a significantly more positive outlook for the City hiring market this year than at the start of 2009.

Following the typical seasonal dip in hiring over the Christmas holiday period, recruitment levels across the financial services sector in January 2010 returned to the general pattern of growth experienced over the course of 2009. Newly available job vacancies in January 2010 registered a 105% increase to 4,646 from 2,268 in December 2009.

The momentum behind City professionals looking for new roles also picked up in the first month of the new year with numbers increasing by 54% month-on-month to 6,760 from 4,390 in December 2009. However, compared to the same month of the previous year the number of professionals looking to move increased by only 3% from 6,570 to 6,760.

Andrew Evans, Managing Director of Morgan McKinley's financial services division commented, "there were more new job opportunities in January 2010 than at any point in 2009, which is very encouraging. This month's figures show a return to the slow but steady pattern of growth in financial services hiring that has been building up over the course of 2009."

However, we are still a long way off pre-financial crisis hiring levels. A more accurate gauge of job growth is the 7% increase in job vacancies from November 2009 to January 2010 which indicates that January recruitment levels are in tune with the recent upward trend. Any further improvement in the hiring market over the next few months is likely to be gradual, reflecting the pace of recovery in the UK economy."

Average salaries remained relatively stable in January 2010 with a -1% decrease from 50,858 to 50,464 Pounds month-on-month and a 1% increase from 49,983 to 50,546 Pounds compared to the same month last year.

Evans commented "the basic salary for the average City worker has remained relatively stable over the last year as a result of market conditions. However, if hiring levels continue to pick up, it will be interesting to see whether average pay levels in 2010 will follow suit or whether rises will be limited to certain isolated cases where demand for specific skill sets will lead to salary inflation."



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