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UK – Job availability in the City rises by nearly a third

16 December 2013

The November 2013 London Morgan McKinley Employment Monitor registered a +30% increase in the number of jobs compared with the same month in 2012. A marginal decrease of -2.6% in job availability was reported when compared with October 2013. 

Professionals seeking new positions numbered 8,623 in November 2013, up from 9,326 in October 2013. The number of candidates actively seeking new career opportunities has increased by +122% since November 2012.

Hakan Enver, Operations Director, Morgan McKinley Financial Services, commented: “Despite a slight pre-Christmas dip in job availability, which we predicted last month, year-on-year there has been terrific growth in City hiring levels.  The month-on-month decrease we have seen is indicative of organisations waiting until the New Year to begin the recruitment process, in particular for infrastructure and support functions, where we expect there to be an increase in hiring from January onwards.”

“The year-on-year job growth (30%) can be attributed to increased business optimism within the financial services sector as the UK economy continues its recovery.  A recent report from accounting firm, BDO, for example, has shown that October signalled ten consecutive months of growing business confidence.”

“And this positive sentiment doesn’t just end there.  In the last week, the Autumn Statement revealed the upgraded forecast for 2014 of +2.4% growth in the economy, compared with March's +1.8% prediction.”

“This mirrors exactly what many of our clients have been predicting, in so far as continued economic recovery will result in higher job volumes next year.  The feeling is that recruiting levels will be far over and beyond just replacement hiring, which has been much of the norm this year.” 

“There continues to be exceptionally strong demand in specific areas within the financial services sector.  Much of the volume continues to be on the contract and temporary side, namely within IT, strategy, projects and change and more recently accounting and finance.  We are also seeing continued requirements for business critical roles within the regulatory sphere in direct response to stipulations dictated by the UK regulatory body.  Compliance, in particular, has seen a drive in regulatory affairs based positions as well as Know Your Client (KYC)/on-boarding.”

“Despite this demand, however, the challenge we are facing is sourcing candidates that are willing to move jobs in the run up to Christmas. This trend is illustrated in the month-on-month reduction in jobs seekers entering the market during November.  Furthermore, the continued boost in confidence has filtered through to the expectations of finance professionals during the next bonus round, paid in Q1 2014.  Many prefer to hold on as they expect to see an improved bonus pool compared to the previous year.”

The ongoing skills shortage are having the positive effect of boosting salaries. The average salary increase for those securing new jobs in November 13 was +15%, compared to +12% the previous month. 

Mr Enver concluded: “This suggests that as we head towards the end of the year, business critical hires are being signed off, which at the more senior level, has resulted in this slight increase in average change in salary when changing jobs.”

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