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London’s financial employment report reveals a rocky road of contrasts

Jobs sector hints at signs of recovery in 2024

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Global banks slashed more than 60,000 jobs.
The labour market remains competitive with an increase of 55%.
The average salary change for a finance professional moving from one organisation to another was 14%

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Employment availability and job seekers, in the City’s Financial Services sector, have declined throughout 2023 according to London’s Employment Monitor.

The latest Morgan McKinley recruitment monitor report, reveals a 16% decrease in job seekers (2023 – vs- 2022) and a 38% decrease in jobs available compared to the previous year. Other key findings include; a 15% decrease in job seekers available year-on-year (Q4 2023 vs Q4 2022) and a 16% average salary change moving from one job to another in 2023

The report shows that 2022 saw a very competitive job market propelled by a robust year of wage expansion; however, this changed quickly in 2023 with indications of a market slowdown influenced by the high-interest rates, inflation, shortage of workers and uncertainty around the world following the post-pandemic boom and geopolitical conflicts. The Monitor saw a 42% decrease in jobs in Q4 2023 compared to Q4 2022.

The Monitor saw a 42% decrease in jobs in Q4 2023 compared to Q4 2022.

In 2023, global banks slashed more than 60,000 jobs, undoing the hiring trends that followed the COVID-19 pandemic, and marking one of the most substantial years for cuts since the global financial crisis, leading to an influx of job seekers in the market. For now, the labour market remains competitive with an increase of 55% of job seekers since 2019 due to redundancies and cost of living.

During Q4 2023, the average salary change for a finance professional moving from one organisation to another was 14%. This reflected a 6% decrease from the previous quarter, and contributed to an overall decline of 16% across the whole of 2023, in contrast to 22% in 2022.

Hakan Enver, Managing Director, Morgan McKinley UK said: “We haven’t seen a drop of this magnitude for a while. After a year of strong pay growth and over-hiring driven by a tight labour market, signs of a cooling market emerged as we approached the end of a challenging year. We saw a decrease in job seekers, candidate supply and the number of jobs available. Despite facing robust economic headwinds as it entered 2024, the UK economy received a boost with the recent government commitment to invest £320 million in domestic science and technology startups. Additionally, Rishi Sunak unveiled £29.5 billion in funding for “innovative” projects, solidifying the UK’s reputation as “one of the best places in the world to do business.”  

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