City set for a decade of job growth as finance and technology hiring to soar in London

Tim Wallace
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The Square Mile can expect an additional 39,000 workers (Source: Getty)
Booming finance and technology hiring will help create 145,000 new jobs in central London over the next decade in a sustained bounce-back from the financial crisis, according to a study out today from the City of London Corporation.

The Square Mile can expect an additional 39,000 workers, with the remainder created across the other central London boroughs.

Those jobs in the City will be increasingly high-value roles, as lower-paid jobs either move to other parts of the UK or are automated as financial technologies advance.

The key hurdles to this growing prosperity are a lack of skilled employees, unaffordable housing and the risk of the UK leaving the EU, according to the report’s authors, the Centre for Cities and Cambridge Econometrics.

In the depths of the financial crisis in 2008, there were 311,800 workers in the City of London.

That has risen to 399,000 this year and will steadily climb to 436,000 by 2025, the report predicts.

In central London more broadly, there are currently 1.88m workers, which will rise to 2m over the next decade.

“International investment banks will retain their primary European operations in London, while retail banks will keep a London hub, and the insurance market will not move out of London,” said Colin Loth from recruitment firm Robert Walters.

“The next 10 years will remain very lucrative for compliance and workers with a risk or legal focus.”

“But we do see a lot of back office jobs being lost, as finance firms move to lower-cost on-shoring, whether that is on the south coast, Manchester, Leeds or Birmingham.”

And with the rise of automation and data collection on a grand scale, Hakan Enver from Morgan McKinley expects rising demand for statisticians.

“Firms are just beginning to understand the magnitude of what you can do with data to advance the business. So they need staff who can read, monitor and extract the data, and put it to good use.”

That leaves the higher-value, most productive jobs focused in the capital.

The City of London’s report predicts the gross value added by workers in the square mile will rise by one-third, from £46bn in 2015 to £61bn in 2025.

But under those changes, there will still be a stronger focus on compliance and risk, as regulators stay tough on banks.

“What might have been one compliance officer’s job a few years ago now takes 10 or 15 specialist staff,” said Luke Davis from recruitment firm Robert Half.

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