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Summer heat warming professionals to new jobs in the city

Morgan McKinley London Employment Monitor

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Morgan McKinley

London Employment Monitor July 2018 highlights:

  • 16% decrease in jobs available, month-on-month
  • 41% decrease in jobs available, year-on-year
  • 21% increase in professionals seeking jobs, month-on-month
  • 30% decrease in professionals seeking jobs, year-on-year
  • 17% increase in salaries, month-on-month

Job seekers out in force as salaries swell

After a period of job stability, a hotter than average summer beckoned Londoners from their offices. As a result, jobs available decreased by 16%, month-on-month, and by 41%, year-on-year. However, the summer holiday season was not enough to suppress enthusiasm among job seekers, who increased by 21%, month-on-month. “By all accounts, City professionals have mastered the art of the staycation: apply for jobs in the morning, then hit the lido—or the pub—in the afternoon”, said Hakan Enver, Managing Director, Morgan McKinley Financial Services.

July is the second consecutive month of robust activity among professionals. The enthusiasm is fueled by the fact that financial services is among the few industries where professionals are seeing significant income gains. In all, average salaries rose by 17%, month-on-month. "The conditions for maximising earnings are ideal right now. If you're highly qualified and work in financial services, this is the time to make the leap to a new job", said Enver.

Despite the jobs data, confidence in the City’s financial services industry is also high amongst employers. “Employers want ever more targeted lists of quality candidates to recruit from”, said Enver in regards to the shifting recruitment climate. “We’re being bombarded with calls from clients looking to carry on hiring within middle and back office functions within the City”.

City continues to draw investment, but mainland Europe makes gains

EY's 2018 UK Attractiveness Report found that the UK is still the number one destination for Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) in Europe for 107 due to talent, quality of life, time-zone, technology infrastructure and robust regulatory and legal systems.  However, financial services investment into the UK fell by 26 per cent with Germany and France demonstrating an increase in FDI investment during the same time frame.

As with most post-Brexit analysis, the report leaves the door open for both positive or negative outcomes for the UK, depending on the type of Brexit deal that is struck. “The City remains a force to be reckoned with”, said Enver. “There’s no question that investors like stability, but given the choice between risk averse business environments and risk resilient ones, the latter wins every time”.

Brexit talks for financial services equivalence falter

In July the UK attempted to secure enhanced equivalence policies between the UK and the EU, but this was rebuffed by Brussels at the close of the month. “Rejection of a reasonable and mutually beneficial proposal suggests that Brussels is trying to weaken London’s status as the most international and influential financial services city in Europe. But the City was both those things before the EU, and it will remain so after the EU”, said Enver.

Though the concern of added red tape for EU nationals’ ability to reside and work in the UK is ongoing, employers are less concerned about their ability to recruit from around the globe, especially from regions such as the United States and Asia, which both boast highly competitive financial services industries. “It’s a big world out there, and the City is focused on recruiting the best to fill the skills gap, irrespective of nationality. Whatever the outcome of Brexit, there will be  opportunities to attract professionals from wider afield”, said Enver.