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City job vacancies drop 20% year on year

City job vacancies drop 20% year on year

But still creating over 4,000 vacancies a month

Continued market uncertainty and disappointing quarterly bank revenue results have contributed to a 20% yearly drop in the number of new City jobs says Astbury Marsden, a leading financial services recruitment firm.

According to Astbury Marsden, 4,030 City jobs were created in August 2011, a 20% drop on the 5,030 created in August 2010.

Mark Cameron, Chief Operating Officer at Astbury Marsden, says: “This is traditionally a quiet time for City recruitment, but the summer slowdown has been even more dramatic this year.”

“There have been disappointing second quarter trading results across all the main investment banks  as the effects of the US debt and Eurozone crises and general market jitters continue to take hold.”

“Banks and other City firms have had to make cuts accordingly. As well as traditional investment banking, these cuts are also affecting wealth management teams.”  

“It had been far easier for banks and hedge funds to respond to a blip in revenue by simply reducing the amount in the bonus pool. The current City pay structures – which introduced higher base salaries to counteract lower bonus payments – have meant that City firms looking to lower costs have little other option than reduce headcount.”

“Although the City jobs market has been much weaker over the last few months, there is still activity within the sector. The current market is far from being a repeat of the post Lehman Brothers period – then new job creation in the City fell to below 2,000 a month.”

“We are expecting some improvements – albeit not dramatic – during September and through to the end of October as banks and other City firms revert to a degree of normality and start to prepare for 2012.”

Astbury Marsden explains that there are still some pockets of staff that are in continued demand such as regulatory, risk staff and change management staff as banks prepare for new regulatory and reporting requirements. 

Mark Cameron says: “At the moment it is difficult for banks and other City firms to gauge how the rest of the year will pan out. The ICB report findings are due to be published in September – with the final decisions on the scope and the timings of the reforms set to be announced just before Christmas.” 

“Although the deadline for implementation may not be immediate, as we have seen with Basel III this is likely to heighten demand for compliance sooner than the implementation date.”

According to Astbury Marsden, in August 2011 there were approximately 12,700 City workers looking for a new job, a reduction of 3% on the 13,150 looking for a new job in the same period in 2010.        


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