“Surprise” uplift in City of London job market

Office buildingsFinancial services job opportunities in the City of London rose 5% in August, a month that normally sees a lull.

It was the first time in three years that the City saw financial services job vacancies rise at this time of year, though volumes remained significantly lower than a year ago.

Regulatory trends drove employment, with many opportunities in risk and compliance prominent, and salaries were up 21% for those starting new jobs.

“It is a surprise to see a 5% uplift in jobs in August” said Hakan Enver, head of permanent recruitment at Morgan McKinley Financial Services, which runs the Morgan McKinley London Employment Monitor.

“With many people traditionally taking holiday at some point during this month, it is typically the quietest time of the year for hiring in most industry sectors.” 

However, the Employment Monitor data suggested there was still a limited appetite for hiring, partly as a result of eurozone concerns, Britain’s double-dip recession, and overall reductions in trading flows.

The 5% increase drove the new jobs total to 2,709. But compared with the same month last year, it was a decrease of 34%.

The number of professionals looking for financial services roles fell by 9% to 4,315 between July and August this year. Compared to the same month last year, there was a 58% decrease in the number of professionals in the job market.

Pay for those starting new jobs in August this year was, on average, 21% higher than for those who started new jobs in July.

Enver said: “Looking at where the demand is coming from, there has been little variation: professionals with a regulatory bias, namely those in risk, compliance and audit are still in demand more than other skill sets. There has also been a noticeable increase in the release of back office roles, with a particular concentration on risk and control; again the stricter regulatory stance being set by relevant bodies being a result of this.”

Enver added that more people were currently passive rather than active seekers in the hiring market, something that is likely to change once the summer period ends.

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