Morgan McKinley's monthly London Employment Monitor (October 2009) provided some positive news for those seeking jobs in the City financial sector earlier this week. Reporting the headline fact that vacancies in the City have risen to their highest recorded numbers this year, the survey revealed that in the last month the number of vacancies in financial services in London increased by 15% when compared with the previous month. At the same time, the smallest year on year decrease in new job numbers was recorded for sixteen months, although these numbers were still down 19% (October 09 versus October 08). The number of professionals in the financial services sector who began looking for a new job was up 6% in October (on September). However, this number was a whopping 23% less than one year ago. Interestingly, the average salary in the City was recorded as £51,350 which compared favourably to October 08 (£48,021), although salaries have remained relatively flat, registering a mere 1% rise when comparing the previous twelve months to the same period one year earlier.
Andrew Evans, MD of Morgan McKinley's Financial Services division, was pleased to report a "general trend of improvement" in London's financial services recruitment sector, and also noted that "...Amongst financial services employers, the appetite to hire has improved and this is encouraging individuals to start testing the jobs market and see what opportunities are out there."
This relatively positive outlook was put into perspective by the announcement from Lloyds Banking group that it will cut 5,000 jobs by the end of 2010. Although some of these losses will be temporary staff, Lloyd's confirmed that as many as 2,600 permanent UK staff could lose their jobs. In total, Lloyd's has announced over 10,000 job cuts this year.
There were few reasons for optimism in the overall job market this week. Whilst the latest CIPD/KPMG Labour Market Outlook (LMO) survey forecast that the labour market is showing no serious signs of returning to rude health, local authorities across England's worst hit areas are to be given £40million to tackle long term unemployment. The Office of National Statistics reported that unemployment in the UK was down to 7.8% in the quarter to September, falling from 7.9% in the April-June period. 2.46 million people are unemployed, an increase of 30,000 on the previous quarter. However this is the smallest quarterly rise since the second quarter of 2008.
On a more positive note, this week saw the launch of a charity aimed at providing education and skills for young people wishing to enter the financial services sector in the West Midlands. The National Skills Academy for Financial Services will focus on supporting businesses to meet the requirements for skills in the sector and in ensuring that new talent is properly trained to help them meet these needs.
784 financial vacancies were uploaded to TopFinancialJobs by employers and agencies in the week 05-12 November. The most frequently advertised position on the site is Accountant, followed by Finance Manager, Management Accountant and Tax/Treasury specialists.