City job openings fall by a quarter as employers decamp from London before Brexit

 
Emma Haslett
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Triggering Article 50 - City Of London
Laterz, London: small firms may be decamping from London (Source: Getty)

The number of City jobs available fell by almost a fifth in February, new figures have shown, which could be down to companies decamping from London ahead of Brexit, the company which compiled the figures warned.

The number of new job openings fell from 8,325 last February to 6,945 last month, figures by Morgan McKinley Financial Services said, a 17 per cent drop. The figure also fell from 9,015 in January - a 23 per cent fall month-on-month.

Hakan Enver, operations director at Morgan McKinley, warned the fall may be down to Brexit.

"Brexit has pushed institutions into two camps," he said.

"On one side we've got the 'business as usual' team, and on the other we have the institutions that are tired of the government's hemming and hawing and have already begun to move jobs to other EU countries. It's the latter group that's contributed to the quarter drop in jobs available."

Small firms take flight

He added small firms made up the bulk of those decamping from the capital.

“The implementation of Brexit could take years, which is not a problem for small, nimble businesses that don’t need to forecast years out. They can adapt in real time, and cross the relocation bridge when they reach it.

“Large institutions, however, are currently using up incredible institutional resources to project years out and plan for a future that changes from one day to the next. For many, it’s simply proving easier to get ahead of the worst case scenario and get out of London now.”

Among larger City employers threatening to ditch London after Brexit, last month it emerged Morgan Stanley may move 300 roles to Frankfurt, while UBS has hinted at a move to either Frankfurt or Madrid and Goldman Sachs has suggested it will halve its workforce in the UK.

Job seekers Brexit first

But it wasn't just the number of new job openings that fell: the number of people looking for new jobs dropped from 17,219 in February 2016 to 10,626 last month.

“London is still home to the best financial services talent in the world, but if the jobs go, so will people. And when they leave, it will devastate the financial services infrastructure, costing British citizens jobs, too," said Enver.