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City hiring hits new low

by LLB Editor
5th Dec 11 12:10 pm

The number of new job vacancies in the City of London fell a further 16 per cent in November 2011, said financial services recruitment firm Astbury Marsden.

Weak trading conditions and the prolonged eurozone crisis has sent recruitment levels to a new low for 2011, according to the report.

There are now five qualified candidates for each City job – the highest number in two years. At the start of this year there was an average of just 1.7 qualified candidates per job.

According to Astbury Marsden, approximately 2,670 City jobs were created in November 2011, down from the 3,160 created in October.

Mark Cameron, CEO at Astbury Marsden, said: “Obviously that is not good news for candidates.

“For those City staff who are looking for a new job it means they are being pitted against more intense competition than they may have faced for years. For many it will mean more interviewers and more rejections before they find the right job.”

However, Astbury also pointed out that November and December are generally quieter months for the City and that some departments have yet to finalise their recruitment budgets for next year.

“The City is very much in wait and see mode. Banks and fund managers are still trying to salvage what they can, in terms of profitability, from the last quarter of this year.

“The relative strength of the jobs market in Asian banking centres such as Hong Kong and Singapore means we are still seeing steady demand from there for London-based bankers but even that demand is noticeably smaller numbers than a year ago,” adds Cameron

Separately, financial specialists Morgan McKinley have found that City job vacancies fell by 42 per cent last month compared with a year ago.

The firm also warned that although an upturn in hiring was likely in February and March, when banks traditionally step up recruitment after the bonus season, volume would probably be subdued.

Andrew Evans, COO at Morgan McKinley Financial Services, said he had expected a decline in November, “but I didn’t expect it to be quite so big”.

The Centre for Economics and Business Research, has said it expects London to have lost 27,000 financial jobs this year, slashing numbers to levels last seen in 1998. That would take the total to 288,000, well below the peak of 354,000 in 2007. It forecast that this year’s total of bonuses would tumble by 38 per cent to £4.2bn.

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