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“Monitoring the pulse of the City jobs market for eight years”

Seasonal factors drive 64% increase in financial services job availability in January 12

Morgan McKinley’s London Employment Monitor registered a 64% month-on-month increase in the number of newly available financial services jobs in January 12

Compared to the same time last year, however this was a decline of 52%

The number of professionals starting to look for new job roles in January 12 rose by 18% from December 11

This was a fall of 38% compared to the number of professionals entering the jobs market at the same time a year ago

The time taken to fill new roles rose considerably by 30 days compared to December 11 to reach 91 days

The average salary for those securing new positions in January 12 rose by 4% from December 11.

January 12 sees rise in job opportunities

The Morgan McKinley London Employment Monitor registered a 64% month-on-month increase from 1,733 to 2,835 newly available roles in the London financial services sector in January 12. However the level of new roles remained relatively low as compared to the same time last year (which registered 5,935 new roles) January 12 recorded a 52% decrease in job availability.

The number of professionals entering the financial services jobs market rose by 18% month-on-month from 5,802 to 6,827 in January 12. At the same time last year, the number of people looking for new roles was much higher at 11,060 – this represents a 38% drop from December 11 to January 12.

Andrew Evans, Chief Operations Officer, Morgan McKinley Financial Services commented:

“Of course it’s positive to see our Employment Monitor registering an increase in job availability in January 12 after two months of declining hiring activity in the City.  However, it’s important to note that this is a very typical trend at this time of year with December being a shorter working month.  For the eight years that we have been recording job availability, January has always seen an increase in financial services hiring activity in London.

“The number of jobs will also be boosted to some extent by roles that were signed-off but not released in December due to factors such as budgetary constraints. However, despite the fact that January shows a rebound, we have to put this into perspective the total number of available roles in January 12 was just over half the number of January 11 which was in itself a relatively subdued month for hiring compared to previous years.  Despite the welcome monthly uplift, this 52% drop on the number of jobs in January 11 indicates we are still in a very cautious hiring market.

“The rise in number of job seekers in the market in January 12 compared to December 11 again reflects the time of year. The & lsquo;New Year, new job’ effect prevails to some extent every year regardless of economic conditions.  In addition, we are in the midst of bonus announcements, with expectations that many banks will be restricting the size of bonus pots to reduce costs and focus on other ways to attract talent.  Speculation and anticipation of unsatisfactory bonuses may have encouraged professionals to re-enter the jobs market in January 12.  However, as the distribution of bonus pots is unclear at this stage, it therefore also remains unclear whether bonus season will have the usual jobs merry-go-round effect.”

Time to fill roles rises significantly

The time taken to fill new positions increased to the longest period for nearly eight years.  At 91 days in January 12, this is 30 days longer than December 11 and 26 days longer than the same time in January 11.  

On a more positive note, the average salary for those securing new positions in January 12 rose by 4% compared to salaries being paid to those starting new roles in December 11.

Andrew Evans continued:

“The significantly increased time to fill roles reflects the environment in which organisations are currently operating interview processes and headcount sign-off are quite clearly delayed for a number of reasons.  Firstly, finding the right person is absolutely paramount - each hire is crucial.  Secondly, negotiating and agreeing compensation and benefits packages is frequently taking longer with changes to the structure of remuneration within institutions and hiring managers facing cost pressures.  Thirdly, lack of visibility and confidence in the market means it can be genuinely difficult to determine the right person and the right time to hire.  The constantly changing landscape, particularly with respect to regulation also adds another layer of complexity. 

“We are definitely seeing the impact of this uncertainty reflected in the relatively active level of hiring activity for temporary and contract roles in financial services.  It’s encouraging to see these short term roles being released which suggests a need for skilled professionals, however it also points to a real & lsquo;wait and see’ approach to hiring permanent employees.”


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