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The City defies economic odds

December 14, 2017  /   No Comments

The City defies economic oddsDespite the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reporting the first across-the-board drop in employment since the Brexit referendum, jobs available in the City were up 5% in November.

“The City is on the receiving end of a lot of punches these days, but it keeps getting back up to fight another day,” said Hakan Enver, Operations Director, Morgan McKinley.

The number of professionals seeking new opportunities has been inching up since April, with November seeing a slight decrease. The 8% month-on-month fall shows an ongoing uncertainty around the Brexit fallout as jobseekers choose to stay put in their current roles. The 37% year-on-year decrease in professional jobseekers is consistent with the post-Brexit loss of EU nationals. “In Brexit adjusted terms, the jobseeker figures are a net positive for the financial services sector,” said Enver.

The Bank of England announced in late November that the nation’s top lenders all passed a recent round of rigorous stress tests. It is the first time in a decade – and since the 2007 crash – that stress tests produced such stellar results. “The stress tests confirm that the City is resilient and they offer hope for its ability to weather the Brexit storms ahead,” said Enver.

One of the stress tests conducted measured resilience under a ‘disorderly Brexit’, a scenario that still cannot be ruled out as EU divorce terms remain largely unknown. “The tests give businesses the opportunity to prepare for a future they know may be around the corner,” said Enver. “All signs indicate that the damage of a ‘disorderly Brexit’ can be offset with a robust trade deal.”

The average salary change for those moving jobs to another in November held steady at 16%, the equivalent of £8,017 on average in monetary terms. “Despite the ongoing questions raised around the future of the City, organisations are still going out of their way to make sure that they are offering high premiums and a competitive salary to attract talented individuals,” said Enver.

Despite this relatively optimistic news, the City is far from out of the woods: the ONS further reported that EU migration to the UK was down 43% in the year since Brexit; the threat of a ‘no deal’ Brexit is sending chills down business sector spines; office development, a key indicator of business growth, was down 9%; and financial institutions remain poised to pull the trigger on Plan B – following those that have already done so – launching a possible exodus that puts at risk the £72.1bn in tax revenue generated by the City, if the government does not provide a Brexit roadmap by the New Year.

“The tea leaves are impossible to read, but there are potential fights on many fronts left to be fought,” concluded Enver.

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