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

London financial services job availability rises in February 12

February 12 Highlights

Morgan McKinley’s London Employment Monitor registered an 8% month-on-month increase in the number of available financial services roles new to the market in February 12

Compared to February 11 however, this was a 47% drop in vacancies

The number of professionals entering the financial services jobs market fell by 11% in

February 12

This represents a drop of 45% compared to the number of job seekers in the market in the same month last year

The time taken to place professionals in new jobs was 61 days

The average salary for those securing new jobs in February 12 was 13% higher month-on-month at &pound55,768

Job availability rises as job seeker numbers decline

February 12 registered a second consecutive monthly increase in financial services job availability in London.  The Morgan McKinley London Employment Monitor recorded an increase of 8% from 2,835 to 3,056 jobs.  However this was still a lower level of roles compared to the same time last year with February 12 recording a drop in job vacancies of 47% compared to February 11 when there were 5,796 roles new to the City hiring market.

The number of professionals looking for new vacancies fell by 11% month-on-month in February 12 from 6,827 down to 6,084.  Compared to the same time last year this was a 45% drop in job seekers from 11,070.

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

“The rise in new financial services job vacancies in February 12 was welcome after a period of particularly low hiring activity at the end of Q4 11.  As our Employment Monitor has shown in the last four out of five years, it is typical to see an increase from January to February.  Although the level of job availability compared to February 11 is low, the 8% monthly increase represents a more & lsquo;normal’ cycle of hiring activity across the sector.

“This can be illustrated by looking back three years when February 09 saw a 9% month-on-month increase in hiring with a very similar number of available roles to February 12.  Overall sentiment in the hiring market in some ways also feels similar to three years ago, when there was a significant degree of uncertainty after turbulent financial events in the second half of 2008.  Although financial markets currently face a different set of challenges from early 2009, this illustrates perfectly how directly and quickly the hiring market mirrors global economic volatility.

“Predicting the pattern of hiring activity into Q2 therefore remains complex the prolonged period of fluctuating economic conditions means that confidence levels across the City could move in either direction.  However, compared to Q4 11, the eurozone debt situation seems to be under greater control, although by no means resolved.  So we expect that hiring activity in March 12 will hold up across the sector if confidence can strengthen further still.”

Professionals secure jobs at a faster rate

After a slow down in hiring processes over the Christmas period, the time taken to place professionals in new jobs was reduced in February 12 by approximately a month to a period of 61 days.

The hiring market also shows another positive indicator in February 12 as the average salary for those securing new jobs rose by 13% compared to those finding new roles the previous month. However in comparison to salaries for new starters a year ago, there has been little movement with an increase of 1% in the average salary across the City.

Andrew Evans continued:

“The time it is taking to place professionals in new roles has fallen significantly since January 12 from 91 to 61 days in February 12, underlining that we are now back to a more typical pattern of recruitment activity.  Incidentally, the time taken for professionals to be placed in new jobs at the same time last year was also 61 days.

“The quickening pace of hiring and the rise in job availability are pleasing signs from a hiring market which has been fragile over the last few months. From a job seeker perspective however, there has been slightly less movement in the market compared to January 12. Hesitance to enter the hiring market at this point in the year is often due to professionals awaiting confirmation of bonus payments, before making a decision about their career development plans.

“All things considered, hiring has held up in February 12.  The market remains challenged relative to the number of job opportunities at this time last year, however, it may be that speculation of the UK avoiding a double dip recession is filtering through to hiring managers in the City. As a result early indications of & lsquo;weathering the storm’ are starting to emerge.”


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