Job applications in the sector fell by 12.5%
According to new research from APSCo and Broadbean Technology, the number of professionals in the UK applying for jobs in the financial services sector is down by a third year-on-year in January 2023, with the gap between supply and demand worsening.
The data found that job applications within the sector fell by 12.5% between November 2022 and January 2023, but this decline was far more acute when looking at annual comparisons (down by almost 30%).
APSCo’s data also reveals that while vacancy levels fluctuated throughout 2022 as economic uncertainty influenced business confidence, yearly comparisons show that new roles fell by just over 16% between January 2022 and January 2023. With application numbers dropping at a far greater rate than vacancies, employers are likely to struggle to source the skills they need in a sector that is already facing acute skills shortages.
Meanwhile, the research revealed that salaries within the sector have risen by 6.5% over the past twelve months, reflective of not only the demand for talent which has put an upward pressure on salaries, but also the impact the cost-of-living crisis has had on employers’ strategies to both attract and retain staff.
Ann Swain, CEO of APSCo, commented: “The data suggests that the Financial Services sector is facing a growing decline in skills availability. While we saw a fall in vacancy numbers during the latter half of 2022 as economic uncertainty influenced business confidence, application numbers fell at a far greater rate.
“We saw in the period following the Financial Crash of 2008 that failure to invest in skills development, attraction and retention when markets are struggling can have a longer-term detrimental impact on recovery. It’s crucial that the sector doesn’t fall into this trap again, particularly given the news that a recession has been avoided in the UK. The increase in salaries is certainly an indicator that employers are investing in attracting skills, but pay alone isn’t a sustainable route to building skills. The country is in critical need of a strong skills strategy to help it become a hub for financial businesses and talent.”