The London financial services sector saw a continued slowdown in hiring in August 11 as the Morgan McKinley London Employment Monitor registered an 18% month-on-month drop in job opportunities from 4,977 to 4,095. Compared to August 10, this was also a decline of 26% from 5,544 available roles.

The number of professionals entering the hiring market both actively and passively in August 11 rose by 17% month-on-month from 8,770 to 10,291. This was 5% less than the 10,810 new job seekers in the market in August 10.

Despite the fall in job opportunities, the average time to fill roles in August 11 rose by only one day to reach 58 days.

Andrew Evans, Chief Operations Officer, Morgan McKinley Financial Services commented:
“Last month we identified the ‘perfect storm’ of factors influencing the relatively low number of available jobs in the financial services hiring market. August 11 has seen a continuation of these negative economic conditions. A deterioration in the volume of hiring was therefore expected. In fact, the 18% month-on-month drop represents the lowest level of job availability this year. It is also further impacted by this being the peak period of the summer holiday months – a time when recruitment activity traditionally slows down each year.

“Despite the low level of new roles being released to the hiring market, the time taken for roles to be filled has only increased by one day to 58 days from July 11. This shows that where there is an appetite to hire, the process is moving at an adequate pace. Although overall job opportunities are down significantly this month, financial institutions are still hiring cautiously in key areas. However these tend to be replacement hires rather than investment hires.

The volume of jobs in August 11, compared to the volume in April 11 fell by 36% – a sizeable and relatively quick decline. This rapid change is a key characteristic of the City hiring market. However as we have seen in past years, the market can move swiftly in either direction.

“The number of available job seekers rose by 17% month-on-month in August 11. This represented a rebound from July 11 however there is no strong evidence of an influx of job hunting professionals as the total number remains at the second lowest point this year.”

New joiners’ salaries rise modestly
The London Employment Monitor also recorded a 3% increase in the average salary for new hires across the financial services market in August 11 compared to salaries for those securing new roles the previous month. The average salary for new roles was £52,239 marking a continuation of financial services institutions keeping salaries for new employees relatively stable.

Andrew Evans continued:
“Average salaries for those starting new jobs in August 11 compared to professionals who started the previous month have risen only marginally. Financial institutions are very much focused on cost reduction, so it’s no surprise that pay at all levels has remained relatively static for new joiners. At the very senior end of the market in certain areas, the picture may differ as institutions have changed remuneration structures whilst continuing to compete for key hires. The situation for the average City worker moving roles however is that remuneration remains stable.

“It’s inevitable that the need for significant cost efficiency amongst global financial institutions will continue to drive the current cautious approach to hiring. Added into the mix is the publication of this week’s ‘Vickers report’ from the Independent Commission on Banking which highlighted a number of issues surrounding the reform of the UK banking system and has divided opinion across the market.”