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Financial services jobs in March 2014


April 2014

“Monitoring the pulse of the City jobs market”

Job availability in the City up 10%

Job seekers in the City up 92%

London Employment Monitor March 2014 highlights:

• Financial services job opportunities increased 10% from February 2014 to March 2014.
• The number of candidates actively seeking employment was up 6% between February 2014 and March 2014.
• Financial services job opportunities increased 2% from March 2013 to March 2014
• The number of candidates actively seeking employment was up 92% between March 2013 and March 2014
• Salaries were 20% higher on average for those securing new positions in February.

Vacancies and jobseeker numbers maintain upward curve as confidence increases

The March 2014 London Employment Monitor recorded a 10% increase in City jobs availability – from 8,442 vacancies in February 2014 to 9,261 in March 2014. On a year-on-year basis, available positions were also up, albeit at a slower rate (2%).

Professionals who are actively willing to move positions numbered 9,373 in March 2014, from 8,844 in February 2014 – a 6% increase month-on-month. Year-on-year data indicates a considerable 92% hike in job seeker numbers, as City workers continue to feel confident about the prospect of securing new roles.

Hakan Enver, Operations Director, Morgan McKinley Financial Services, commented:

“Hiring levels in the City have continued on an upward trajectory throughout March, with 9,261 available vacancies, further highlighting that employers remain confident to hire. This is in keeping with Deloitte’s recent finance director survey which reveals that four fifths of the UKs largest businesses expect to increase investment and recruitment over the coming 12 months, the highest level for three years. The increased appetite of CFOs to take greater risks on their balance sheets in order to expand their businesses makes me confident that hiring activity within the City will remain buoyant as we progress through 2014.

“As we noted last month, the improving IPO IPO market also continues to positively impact the employment market. And recent reports suggesting that the last twelve months have been the most active for IPOs in London since before the global economic crisis, means that there will continue to be a positive knock-on effect as far as hiring in the rest of the financial services sector is concerned over the coming months.

“Whilst much of the past year has seen demand within the contract jobs market, recent data shows that this is now beginning to stabilise. We are, however, seeing a few exceptions to the rule in areas that traditionally rely on flexible labour – IT, HR, compliance and risk, as well as office support functions. On the other hand, there has been a huge uplift in the permanent jobs market which is not only reflected in our 10% month-on-month jobs growth figure, but also the latest research from KPMG/REC. According to the report, demand for staff continued to rise at a marked pace in March, with the rate of expansion only just shy of January’s 15½-year high.

“Whilst this growth further highlights the confidence of hiring managers, it has also brought with it several challenges. As we reported last month, the permanent jobs market remains slightly more challenged and particularly slow to hire – often hiring managers will interview a number of candidates in order to provide a benchmark resulting in the time to hire process taking weeks or even months. This, coupled with increased visa implications, which have affected who institutions can hire, has resulted in the early stages of a skills shortage in certain areas.

“On the candidate front, the increased numbers again indicate that individuals are being more proactive about making a move now that the economy is more stable, particularly if one looks to the year-on-year rise of 92% in job seekers. However the incredibly high growth can also be attributed to Morgan McKinley’s prediction six months ago that a skills shortage was on the horizon and our subsequent investment in candidate attraction techniques.”

Salary a strong motivating factor for job seekers

The average salary increase for those securing new jobs in March 2014 was 20%, compared to 15% in February 2014. This is in keeping with a recent report from the Bank of England which suggests that wages will start to grow faster than inflation this year for the first extended period since the 2008 financial crisis.

Enver continued:

"A 20% rise in average salaries shows that we are still in a buyers’ market with clients looking to offer above market basic salaries to incentivise candidates to join their business opposed to a competitor. This is mirrored by the KPMG/REC research, whereby starting salaries for people placed in permanent jobs increased strongly in March, with growth picking up at its sharpest since July 2007. However, temporary/contract staff pay increased at the slowest rate in five months.

Bonus expectations

“We have also noted that, as the bonus period closes off once again, there has been a slight return to confidence in candidates’ expectations. This is in keeping with eFinancialCareers’ latest Global Bonus SurveySurvey which reveals that the average bonus increased by 29% in 2013 compared to the previous year City workers also command the highest average bonus in comparison to their colleagues in the world’s major financial markets. There is, however, still a large proportion who received less than they expected (41%).”

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