March saw another month of low hiring and job seeking in the City. Jobs available were down 14 per cent month-on-month and 37 per cent year-on-year. Job seekers were down 22 per cent month-on-month and by 44 per cent year-on-year.
Though the figures continue to bear the stamp of Brexit, both seasonal and weather forces were also at play. “These numbers don’t reflect the enthusiasm we’re seeing on the ground. The unexpected Beast from the East and Easter took the wind out of March’s job-market sails”, said Hakan Enver, Managing Director, Morgan McKinley Financial Services.
Salary outlook bright despite Beast from the East hiring freeze
In happy news for job seekers, average salaries increased by 23 per cent in March. “Irrespective of the sub-sector, we’re seeing wages go up”, said Enver.
As businesses across Britain lament the shortage of skilled workers and a post-Brexit rise in staff turnover, those who are currently looking for their next professional opportunity are well positioned to receive considerably higher compensation than they would have a year ago. “A shortage in talent translates to better salary negotiating power for job seekers, making now a great time to move”, added Enver.
Brexit transition deal worries Square Mile, but offers some good news for job seekers
News of a Brexit transition deal—which has yet to be formalised—between the UK and the EU brought some long awaited clarity, but also delivered disappointing news for Britain’s financial services sector. Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond went as far as to call portions of the deal “wholly inadequate for the scale and complexity of the UK-EU financial services trade”.
With its focus on ‘equivalence’ instead of ‘mutual recognition’, the deal all but ensures that the UK will face cumbersome oversight, slowing business transactions considerably. “The EU is effectively shooting itself in the foot by creating unnecessary barriers”, said Enver.
The deal wasn’t all bad news, however as European job seekers have cause for optimism with the agreement demanding that the government treat all EU citizens who move to Britain during the 21 month transition period in the same manner as it treats those who moved here pre-Brexit. “It’s not a long term solution, but it keeps the door open to top European talent and buys time to work out a post-Brexit work visa system”, said Enver.
The clarity that the deal sought to provide businesses with came too late for some: leading banks announced specific figures for how many positions they plan to relocate from London to elsewhere in Europe. “Clearly the doomsday scenario of tens of thousands leaving the City is not set to materialise, with the moves reflecting only a fraction of each institution’s London based workforce” said Enver.