The financial services giant that is the City of London has seen a strong increase in the number of jobs made available in March according to a well-watched monthly report on the sector.
The City of London loosely refers to London's central financial district but also encompasses financial operations across London, including Canary Wharf.
The 17% increase in jobs available when compared to the previous month comes as, “businesses are done trying to read the tea leaves to see what lies ahead, and they’re getting back to the business of hiring talent,” according to Hakan Never, Operations Director at Morgan McKinley Financial Services.
Morgan McKinley’s report for February, released in March, showed a worrying slump in jobs made available and there were concerns that a looming Brexit was behind the slowdown.
However, the report for March has suggested these fears were overdone.
An interesting point to be made is that the numbers seeking work in financial services has fallen further:
This could suggest the jobs market is tightening somewhat.
The 9% month-on-month decrease in job seekers is however described as moderate, especially when compared to March of 2016 when seekers were down by 25%.
“March is always a quiet month for job seekers. With the first quarter bonus season wrapped up, we expect to see a spike in April figures,” says Enver.
So what is driving the jump in the number of jobs being made available?
“This time a year ago we were looking at significant drops in the number of jobs available. There’s a growing sense that we have a real opportunity to reshape how business is done, for the better,” said Enver. The jobs spurt is being fueled by hiring in regulatory finance, risk management, and fintech. “Fintech jobs are opening up across the board, from ambitious new startups to major institutions,” said Enver.
Institutions Look to EU Expansion, not Relocation
After the EU referendum there was no shortage of press reports warning that major UK-domiciled financial services institutions were looking to move away from the UK.
As the dust settles it becomes apparent that this is not necessarily the case.
Morgan McKinley say it’s becoming increasingly apparent that many are looking to move only specific units, or to expand their reach into other cities.
“A new office in Brussels has yet to result in jobs lost in London,” says Enver.
The recruitment firm argues London continues to attract investors from across the globe and institutions are grappling with the need to maintain access to the common European market, as well as the wealth of investors and economic productivity in and around London.
“Instead of relocating to Europe, therefore, financial services are increasingly looking for the best of both worlds by keeping their foothold in London, and expanding operations in or to other European financial hubs,” say Morgan McKinley in a statement accompanying the release of the data.
With elections set in key European countries in 2017, employers and employees alike understand that things are likely to stay rocky for the foreseeable future, and are focused on playing to current strengths instead of unknown future woes.
“Now that everyone’s caught the populism bug, it’s impossible to avoid it. Adapting to it is proving more effective than waiting for it to disappear,” says Enver.