Job opportunities in the city declined 54% year over year in the third quarter as the Covid-19 pandemic and the UK’s impending exit from the European Union weighed on financial services firms’ hunger for employment.
There were 3,810 open positions in the financial services sector in the third quarter, according to figures released October 19 by recruiter Morgan McKinley. That is a 54% decrease from the previous quarter as investment banks and fund managers largely closed their hatches amid the pandemic.
“Businesses and job seekers are grappling with the effects of the pandemic and are concerned about what a second wave will mean, but we mustn’t forget Brexit either,” said Hakan Enver, Managing Director at Morgan McKinley UK, in a December statement “There are long-term recovery and free flow of capital and equivalence concerns in UK financial services that need to be addressed.”
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While the number of jobs fell from 8,291 vacancies in the third quarter of 2019, the situation has improved in the last three months. Financial services jobs rose 53% over the second quarter of the summer in what Enver described as “renewed optimism and hope as the UK settled into a new way of life”.
However, investment banks have announced downsizing after resisting layoffs at the height of the pandemic. Goldman Sachs and Citigroup said they both cut around 1% of their workforce after a hiatus during the crisis, while both Deutsche Bank and HSBC resumed their plans to overhaul their businesses, which will result in the loss of tens of thousands of jobs.
Enver added that work from home arrangements that forced thousands of city workers out of the office at the height of the UK crisis could stay here:
“Companies have no intention of withdrawing from remote working, and many companies are even suggesting homeworking as part of their compensation packages,” he said.
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