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Morgan McKinley London Employment Monitor:Layoffs & global crises fail to stop the London job market

London Employment Monitor October 2015 highlights:

*    Jobs increased by 7% month-on-month

*    Year-on-year figures for available jobs showed a 28% increase

*    Job seekers increased by 7% month-on-month

*    Year-on-year job seekers increased by 61%

*    October showed an average salary change of 17%.

Jobs market picks up again

Last month saw an increase across the board in both new job opportunities and new job seekers. New jobs increased by 7% month-on-month to 9,480 and by 28% year-on-year. Those seeking new jobs increased by 7% month-on-month to 14,405 and by 61% year-on-year. The results show a return to the positive trend seen in the first half of the year, after three months of decreases in new jobs and two months of declining job seeker numbers. The reduction in jobs in August and September were partly due to the summer holiday season. October, being the first full month of figures after people have returned to work, was expected to be positive, as highlighted in last month’s London Employment Monitor.

“The general feeling in the jobs market was a mixed bag in October,” says Hakan Enver, Operations Director, Morgan McKinley Financial Services.“We saw some departments showing urgency in their hiring whilst others were somewhat lethargic.”  The contrasting attitudes of employers to the hiring process can in some degree be attributed to the news of planned major layoffs within the financial sector. Deutsche Bank lead the news by announcing the closing of operations in ten countries and layoffs of 35,000 employees, which equates to nearly a third of its workforce.

“Those organisations announcing layoffs will obviously slow down hiring, which will also coincide with the natural slow down towards year end. However, the redundancy announcements will also have a knock-on effect on other companies, particularly those whose businesses are not flourishing. They will be wary of taking on new talent, until they have more certainty about their business prospects in the near future,” says Enver.

The growth in new job seekers can be attributed to the news of layoffs. “The news from Deutsche Bank and other institutions, will have activated employees in those organisations in which they feel their jobs could be at threat. They will be dusting off their resumes and taking an active role in testing the market and seeing if there is demand for their skills,” says Enver. “The good news is that there are still plenty of businesses doing well and who are keen to hire.”

Markets under pressure

October saw two major themes putting pressure on the markets: Volkswagen and Glencore. TheVolkswagen emissions scandal, which gained more momentum during October, is massive in scope, threatening not just the automaker but the whole of the German economy, which has been the one shining light within the eurozone. "That's why this scandal is not a trifle. The German economy has been hit at its core," said Michael Huether, head of Germany's IW economic institute.

The share price of Glencore took a hit as the continuing slump in commodity prices unleashed a rollercoaster of volatilityupon the company’s shares. The stock price halved during the past 12 months, but October proved a particularly volatile month in which the stock had days with double digit percentage moves in both directions. The uncertainty was concerning Glencore’s ability to stay solvent.

Gender pay gaps

In legislation planned for England, Wales and Scotland, companies with more than 250 employees would berequired to publish the average difference between bonuses paid to male and female employees. The new rules, part of the government’s planned “equality boosting measures”, would affect 10 million workers.

The much awaitedreview of women on corporate boardschaired by Lord Mervyn Davies set a new target of 33% of FTSE 350 companies having women on their boards by 2020. Currently the ranking for the UK is sixth in the world with 26% of companies having a woman on the board. While most of the countries with more women on boards have regulatory quotas, Lord Mervyn was clearly against quotas stating that “I think quotas are dead. We should move on. We're fixing the problem, we're fixing the boards and we will fix it without quotas.”

Average Salary Change

October showed an average salary change of 17%. Whilst the markets appeared to be less committed to onboarding fresh talent, those that secured new positions were able to demand strong increases in their basic salaries.

EmolumentData - Spotlight on Project and Change Management

The trend across the board this year for permanent hiring within Project and Change Management has seen high demand in Strategic Programmes concerned with rationalising systems infrastructure, and delivering high-quality data reporting capabilities, with a view to upcoming regulatory requirements.  Clients are most prepared to pay towards the top end of the salary range for candidates with both the Project/Programme Delivery skill set and a more detailed domain expertise - experience with Risk Models, Data projects, or Finance/Risk Systems rationalisation. 

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