Jobs boost as City springs back into life

JOB opportunities in the City’s financial services firms shot up by more than 80 per cent in March compared to the same month last year, according to recruitment experts.

The numbers were also up a fifth on February as new life was breathed into the jobs market in the Square Mile.

In tandem with the rise in vacancies, average salaries surged by eight per cent to £55,689, fuelled mainly by more managers being hired by firms.

And time taken for professionals to find a new job dropped by four days to 60 in March, according to the Morgan McKinley data.

In March there were 6,332 financial services vacancies compared with 5,242 the previous month as the jobs market received a boost.

The month also saw a 2.4 per cent monthly increase from 8,740 to 8,950 of financial services professionals looking for new jobs in the City, the figures showed.

Andrew Evans, managing director of Morgan McKinley’s financial services division, said there was a renewed confidence amongst companies due to recent data showing an improvement in the economy.

He added: “March was a very healthy month for City hiring, with job volumes reflecting the increased confidence and momentum in the financial services market.

“Real improvements in the hiring market started to show towards the end of 2009 and recruitment has accelerated further in the first quarter of 2010.

“This is consistent with a number of wider economic indicators. The last time new job vacancy numbers were at March levels was in August 2008, the month before the collapse of Lehman Brothers.”

Across the UK, the overall unemployment rate fell by 0.1 per cent on the quarter to reach 7.8 per cent for the three months to January 2010. But the number of people in full-time employment dropped.