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November sees 39% YoY decrease in available jobs, Morgan McKinley London finds

Morgan McKinley has released its London Employment Monitor for November 2018.

After two years of wrangling, Theresa May reached an agreement with European leaders on the terms of the UK’s wearying divorce from the EU. On Tuesday, the proposal was meant to face a potentially even tougher hurdle: The House of Commons. The proposal was notably light on details pertaining to the future of the financial services industry. Hakan Enver, managing director of Morgan McKinley, said, “It’s stunning to see that in a 585 page plan for Britain’s future, an industry that contributes £119 billion a year to the economy barely gets a mention.”

New jobs came to market in November at a rate of 4% less than in October, and were down by 39%, year-on-year. “In November of 2017 jobs were up by 5% from the previous month, and only down by 3% from the previous year”, commented Enver. “Brexit has taken a considerable bite out of banking jobs and with an ambiguous Brexit deal on the table, the City’s bracing for more pain ahead.”

After months of steep incline, job seeker figures are down in November by 14% month-on-month and by 28% year-on-year. Enver stated, “It’s been a year of peaks and troughs for job seekers. When you balance it out over the course of the year, however, it’s a relatively flat trend. We are ending the year very much where we began.” The annual holiday season slow down coincides with the looming Brexit deadline which will determine who can and who cannot work in Britain.

Ambitious professionals across the globe look to London for career advancement opportunities and growth, a scenario that is unlikely to change in a post-Brexit UK. However, financial services employers are anxiously awaiting signs from political leaders that they intend to ease the process of visas for highly skilled individuals worldwide. Enver shared, “If visa regulations aren’t modernised, the government will shrink the City’s talent pool, effectively shrinking the economy.”

The hope is that added residency barriers for EU nationals will be offset by an easing of visa barriers for qualified professionals from highly competitive hubs in Asia and the United States. Enver said, “We are forced to think outside the EU paradigm, which is uncomfortable and disappointing, but also offers opportunities for a truly meritocratic visa system that would enable recruitment from top financial services cities and tech hubs worldwide.”

The need is especially acute as businesses are decreasingly able to justify housing their European operations in Britain. Enver revealed, “The bulk of those jobs are leaving for good, but industries change. With a truly global talent pool there’s no limit to the types of financial services and FinTech innovation that London can generate.”

New trade deals are central to the government’s post-Brexit strategy and, if successful, would ease the blow from increased barriers to trade and cooperation with the EU. As with opening the door to highly skilled professionals, many in the business sector are hoping for increased ease of trade with countries across the globe. Enver commented, “When one door closes, another opens. Britain needs to dust itself off and go boldly into a post-EU future. That means renegotiated trade deals, and passporting agreements with nations beyond Europe. There is no rule that says we either have to do business exactly the same way we did five years ago, or do no business at all”.

November 2018 saw an average salary change of 21% for City professionals moving from one organisation to another. Enver stated, “What is apparent is that the lower flow of individuals searching for new employment isn’t deterring institutions from offering a premium to secure their services. Historically, the year end is a time where candidates are put off from looking to move. In fact, there are some serious benefits to consider moving now.”

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