The latest employment figures from Morgan McKinley suggest that the number of jobs available and job seekers have continued to decline in the City’s Financial Services sector. According to the company’s recruitment monitor for Q3 2023, there was a 34 per cent decrease in job seekers and 31 per cent decrease in jobs available compared to the previous year. The average salary change for a finance professional moving from one job to another increased to 20 per cent in Q3.

Hakan Enver, managing director, Morgan McKinley UK commented: “London entered its summer slowdown as companies stalled hiring, with the number of vacancies available continuing to fall in Q3 2023. In addition, the number of financial professionals looking for a new job in the Square Mile decreased, falling to its lowest point since before the COVID-19 pandemic. The summer season, when many professionals take breaks, coupled with long job searches and unsettled economic conditions, has dented candidate confidence to actively pursue new opportunities.

“This is no surprise given the aggressive hiring post-pandemic, which led to a resilient workforce – many firms ended up with too many people and spiralling salaries caused falling staff attrition rates and reduced demand with lots of underutilised employees,” he added. “This reduced the profits of many financial institutions, creating a pressure to cut costs. Despite fewer professionals looking to move amidst the uncertainty, there is still an appetite to seek opportunities where workers can earn more due to continued financial stresses.”

Hakan explained: “Despite fewer jobs available, business critical hires are still being made, recent research we conducted for our Salary Guide found that over half (52 per cent) of UK businesses still plan to hire in the next six months. Furthermore, an average salary increase in Q3 2023 of £11,823, drove an overall 20 per cent increase in salary for one professional moving from one organisation to another. This is up by 7 per cent from the last quarter, which had its lowest increase since Q2 2020. This highlights that financial services firms are still prepared to offer the right salaries in a very tight and candidate short market.”

“It is common to observe a decrease in job openings over summer due to companies scaling back hiring efforts and employers exercising caution regarding the economy. That said, businesses are likely to find solace in the declining inflation and the belief that interest rates have now reached their peak. Whilst the sentiment is of nervousness, particularly when considering changing jobs, this shouldn’t be the case. With so much rigour around gaining approval before a vacancy is released, to additional approvals before being offered a role, it would take an extreme situation to find yourself back in the market so soon after. Job seekers who are looking for a new job need to be ready to apply with businesses eager to hire workers. I would urge people to start looking. As soon as the market picks up, there will be a lot of competition again.”

Stay up to date

Keep me up to date to receive all the latest news and updates.