Surviving the triple threat

Morgan McKinley Winter London Employment Monitor shows resilience.

The latest figures from Morgan Mckinley’s Quarterly London Employment Monitor reveal that the City has weathered the worst of 2020’s difficult year. Brexit, the Pandemic, and a change in the US President had all been predicted to inflict untold damage at the heart of the UK’s financial sector, yet, the employment figures tell a different story.

  • 2 per cent quarter-on-quarter decrease in jobs available
  • 1 per cent quarter-on-quarter increase in job seekers
  • 14 per cent increase quarter-on-quarter salary change
  • 36 per cent year-on-year decrease in jobs available
  • 31 per cent year-on-year decrease in job seekers
  • 49 per cent decrease from 2020 for 2019 for jobs available

“Brexit on its own would have been hard enough,” says Hakan Enver, managing director, Morgan McKinley UK, “However, the City had to deal with the disruption of the global pandemic and the potential upheaval of the change of leadership in the US. Despite this, Q4 ended with jobs seeing a small decrease of 2 per cent which continued to counter the massive drop of 60 per cent in Q2. This shows real resilience and steadiness in stark contrast to the beginning of the year when overall numbers for 2020 fell dramatically compared to 2019.

“Banks and financial service firms have fared well by adapting quickly and responded to the needs of their employees and setting up remote working, which has ensured they can maintain business as usual,” Hakan added. “Many employers are focusing on hiring when needed and feasible. We’ve seen growth in IT, marketing, and digital roles, whilst auditors outside the big 4 have also been in demand.”

According to Hakan Brexit failed to deliver a big hit to financial services employment. Initial warnings that jobs would leave the City have been scaled back and more recently, much of the focus has been on the consequences of the imminent loss of Passport Rights. However, the City has had several years to prepare for the various potential outcomes of Brexit negotiations by reducing exposure and becoming more global.

While the City’s future success is certainly not written and there is a long way to go on the EU deal for services, Hakan highlights: “UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak has granted the EU access to UK markets, despite a lack of reciprocation on Brussels’ part. It is too soon to tell if any future agreement will help financial services but it does provide certainty and an opportunity to catch up on lost ground. Organisations are now looking at new fast-growing business lines that they can add to where London is already globally competitive. This includes foreign exchange and derivatives or perhaps becoming a centre for sustainable finance and the hub for fintech.”

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