City jobs hit a peak: Financial services push employment boom to all time high

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Employment in the City is at an all-time high according to new data (Source: Getty)

Financial services are powering a dramatic boom in jobs growth, with employment in the City now at an all time high, according to a major new report.

At the end of June this year there were a record 729,000 people employed in financial and professional services in London, a 2.2 per cent increase on 2014, data from TheCityUK released today shows.

The figures, seen exclusively by City A.M., show that in the first six months of 2015, 15,500 new jobs were created in the capital, representing a 14.7 per cent increase on the lows seen in 2010 after employment plummeted by over 55,000 following the financial crisis.

Chief executive of TheCityUK, Chris Cummings, told City A.M.: “The UK economy is recovering as a whole, and so firms have an appetite to invest, which means more activity through the sector for banks but also in consulting and legals.

“Confidence is returning, the sector is coping well with regulation and settling down for growth.”

Read more: UK business confidence jumps as profits rise

TheCityUK forecasts that employment will continue to rise in the second half of 2015, with around 7,300 more jobs created. This will bring the total growth figure for 2015 to 3.2 per cent. Across the UK, the number of jobs in the financial and professional sector increased 2.1 per cent.

However, while the insurance sector saw the number of workers increase by 2.1 per cent, accountancy and management consultancy had the biggest rise of 4.7 per cent, the number of banking sector jobs fell by 0.3 per cent to 103,700 employees.

TheCityUK figures suggest that banks are hiring heavily in compliance departments in order to meet new regulations, while at the same time cutting jobs in investment banking and trading operations.

However, the CBI said that although optimism in the sector was stable, it is no longer growing and may have peaked, with fears over competition starting to bite and volatility in equity markets and China’s slowdown taking their toll.

Read more: IMF warns emerging markets slowdown could lead to global recession

Despite the record jobs growth across the year, KPMG figures out today show that the number of permanent job positions in London actually fell over the last three months, the only region in the UK to experience this, ending a 27-month period of expansion.

Cummings said: “Being able to attract and retain the best talent is fundamental to the industry’s ongoing competitiveness – we want to send a clear message that the UK is ‘open-for-business’ and an attractive place to do business. Issues such as caps on migration of international skilled workers should be fully considered for their potential impact on this.”

John Dickie, director of strategy and policy at London First, told City A.M.: “It’s great to see jobs growth in the City, which means a boost for the whole economy and for tax revenues. But there is no room for complacency and the chancellor needs to follow through on reforms to the bank levy to ensure our banks remain globally competitive.”