Job vacancies in City slump by 20 per cent

THE parlous state of the City jobs market has been underlined, after a new study revealed the number of vacancies in the City slumped by a fifth in August compared with a year ago.

City employers created a thousand fewer jobs last month compared with August 2010, recruitment company Astbury Marsden said, following a torrid second quarter for banks as trading revenues fell sharply.

Astbury Marsden’s Mark Cameron said curbs on bonuses were depressing hiring at City institutions.

“Current City pay structures – which introduced higher base salaries to counteract lower bonus payments – have meant that City firms looking to lower costs have little other option than to reduce headcount,” Cameron said.

“This is traditionally a quiet time for City recruitment, but the summer slowdown has been even more dramatic this year.”

The recruiter said 4,030 jobs were created last month, down from 5,030 in August 2010, while the number of City workers looking for a new job was down three per cent to 12,700.

But Cameron said vacancy levels were still higher than the lows of late 2008 after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, when the number fell to less than 2,000 posts per month.

Banks in the US and Europe have already announced more than 60,000 job cuts globally this year, as the tough trading environment, strict new regulation and a drought of dealmaking cut into their profits.

There are still some pockets of staff that are in continued demand such as those specialising in regulation and risk, as banks prepare for an onslaught of new red tape.