City of London job vacancies plummeted 43 per cent in December compared with the same period a year earlier, and were down eight per cent for the whole of 2011, according to a study.
Financial services and banking recruitment firm Astbury Marsden revealed that 54,000 new jobs were advertised in the City during 2011, down from the 58,800 advertised during the previous year.
There was a significant reduction in City jobs available in December, with just 1,490 vacancies available during the month compared with 2,620 in December 2010.
Mark Cameron, Astbury Marsden’s chief operating officer, said: “After starting the year on something of a hiring high, 2011 finished on a low note with a marked slump in the number of new City jobs created.
“Although there were well over 50,000 new City jobs created last year many of them were replacements for staff leaving for other jobs rather than brand new roles. Many of the genuinely new jobs that were created were to deal with the legacy of the banking crisis.”
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He went on to reveal that the number of qualified candidates applying for each City job rose from two to three during the year, adding: “Although institutions who are looking to hire are able to choose from much higher calibre candidates, relatively few employers are taking advantage of this better recruitment climate.”
Meanwhile, major UK recruitment group Robert Walters told the Financial Times that reduced recruitment in the financial sector played a significant part in the company’s second quarterly fall in gross profits in a row.
Buoyed by strong growth in Asia, the company achieved a 14 per cent annual profit increase in the final three months of 2011, but this was undermined by a weak domestic performance which helped result in a three per cent fall in gross profit from the previous quarter.
Chief executive and founder Robert Walters believes that falling recruitment in banking and financial services would continue in 2012.
He said: “The whole thing is about confidence?.?.?.?[and] there isn’t much of that around at the moment. People are very nervous about moving?.?.?.?so even if they’re unhappy in their job they’re going to hang around. Companies, likewise, are not that confident on hiring.”
However, Cameron revealed that job opportunities in areas such as compliance are being created by the banks’ reluctance to hire.
He added: “In the short term, while they continue to grapple with adopting the multitude of new regulations and adapting their business models to cater for the increased costs of funding, demand will remain for regulatory and change management experts.”