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City jobs slow down, or London’s booming?

It’s a morning for statements on the health of the City of London job market. On the one hand, there’s recruiters Astbury Marsden, bullishly claiming that job numbers in investment banks are up by 46% on last September – in itself reportedly a buoyant period for hiring. On the other, there’s the new quarterly report from PwC/CBI suggesting that the vast majority of financial services firms are still expanding, but much more cautiously.

There were 3,470 new City jobs created in September, believes Astbury Marsden, as a surge in M&A and equity capital markets activity combined with a post-summer lull increase in roles and the ongoing demand for regulatory and compliance staff.

Meanwhile, PwC/CBI’s report is keen to point out how stable the job market is. Yes, financial services organisations are still hiring, but it’s at a slower rate than earlier in 2014. Asset managers, who have been bolstering their headcount for over two years, are reducing their hiring targets even if overall numbers are still heading up. Securities trading firms are hiring again, but this follows a quarter where they were reducing staff numbers and the banking sector is recruiting at an “above average” rate.

So, where exactly is the demand? Astbury Marsden says that it’s still largely in compliance, regulatory and technology. Predictably, in the wake of the latest JPMorgan security breach and ongoing attacks on the investment banking sector, information security professionals are increasingly hot property. Adam Jackson, director at the recruiter, says investment banks are also “building their revenue generating teams”.

The big increase in demand, suggests the PwC/CBI report, and where firms are struggling to hire, is for project managers, risk, compliance and development professionals.


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AUTHORPaul Clarke

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