The number of City job vacancies in September was down 38% on last year, according to the Morgan McKinley London Employment Monitor.
September is traditionally one of the highest-performing months for jobs vacancies, but this year jobs were down 2% month on month, but 38% since this time last September. Brexit and changing holiday patterns due to the long hot summer were blamed.
Hakan Enver, Managing Director, Morgan McKinley Financial Services, said people had delayed holidays due to the summer which had had an impact on jobs and added that Brexit was creating a ‘new round of jitters’ among the City’s largest employers. “The cabinet appears to be spending considerably more time fighting one another than fighting for a good Brexit deal. It’s an embarrassment”, he said. “It’s time for the British Bulldog to wake up and get to work”.
Nevertheless, he added that the number of staff being moved to EU countries is, so far, in the hundreds rather than the thousands, but he said this might change. “That businesses are opting to keep people in the City for now is excellent news. But they are poised to pivot if they need to, so we may yet see a mass relocation in the coming six months,” he stated.
The number of people seeking jobs is also down by 19% month-on-month, and 35% year-on-year. “Fuelled by the World Cup and the hot weather, we saw optimism from job seekers throughout the summer. But the feel good factor has worn off,” said Enver. “Very few people are going to be looking for new jobs if they think they may be having to file expensive visa applications six months down the road.”
The report also highlighted that business students have begun to turn to Ireland for their studies, instead of the the UK, suggesting the possibility of a future brain drain which could have long-term implications for the City.
Despite this, some sectors are doing well, according to the report. In financial services, technical accounting and finance business partners are the top hiring areas. The demand is driven by changes in financial reporting standards, such as IFRS 9/15, and clients tightening up on financial controls. “Institutions that are moving operations to Dublin and Frankfurt are hiring in spades for stakeholder relationship management, control budgeting, and forecasting,” said Enver.
Marketing professionals also remain in high demand as businesses are seeking professionals who can help them build brand awareness through media and public relations as well as internal relations experts who can help them retain and attract top talent.