Confidence in City defies political chaos says Morgan McKinley.

Figures show 12 per cent increase in jobs available.

Morgan McKinley’s Autumn London Employment Monitor has shown how 2019 has continued to provide a rollercoaster ride for employment in the City. In the first half of the year jobs spiked, nosedived, levelled off, and threatened to head back down again. The third quarter (Q3) followed a similar trajectory: job numbers were up by 20 per cent month-on-month in July, only to go back down by 11 per cent in August and resurface with a 5 per cent increase in September.

Meanwhile Q3 saw the political climate go from uncertain to historically chaotic, as the new Brexit deadline has come ever closer. Nevertheless, the City has largely weathered the storm: a 12 per cent quarter-on-quarter increase in jobs has been mirrored by a 12 per cent increase in job seekers over the same period – strong numbers even by Brexit era standards. Meanwhile, consistent with other post-Brexit Employment Monitors, the year-on-year figures continued to paint a bleak picture.

“Pressure remains strong on both businesses and individual job seekers to hunker down and wait for a resolution on Brexit,” says Hakan Enver, managing director, Morgan McKinley UK. “As a result, professionals remain reluctant to move, thus failing to generate new positions and growth opportunities for others, and businesses continue to put off all but essential hiring.”

Enver continues: “The fact that job seekers are being given added time to get their residency in order, hard Brexit or not, is helping offset some anxiety. But fear of the unknown is rampant and we’re continuing to see employees cling to existing positions.

“We are witnessing a political circus taking place in Parliament, and a political circus on the global stage,” he continued. “Between Brexit, international trade tensions, and opposition politicians pushing for anti-business policies, we are suffering a real leadership deficit. Because financial services businesses have been preparing for a hard Brexit for over two years, they are proving remarkably resilient. They don’t want a hard Brexit but they’re ready for it.”

The figures suggest that the country is still living a tale of two economies, explains Hakan. On the one hand, unemployment is low and wages are high. On the other, manufacturing is falling and business is operating in a state of perpetual uncertainty. “If it weren’t for Brexit, it would be fair to say the economy is doing well,” he concludes.

According to London and Partners Fintech remained especially resilient, with London besting New York to become the world’s second most invested in fintech city, after San Francisco. The City’s fintech firms also continued to lead in terms of innovation, and are showing no signs of slowing down.

Enver commented: “The silver lining is that larger banks are continuing to keep up their technology investments, making it among the most active and lucrative subsectors in the financial services industry. It is proving a source of relative stability at a time when the industry is struggling to keep up with daily changes in a complex and contentious global market, as well as facing the looming limitations on its ability to do business with the EU.”

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