Surprise jump in City jobs despite crisis

Tim Wallace
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THE NUMBER of new City jobs created hit a nine-month high in May, recruitment industry data showed this week, raising hopes that the financial services industry is shrugging off the worst effects of the resurgent crisis in the Eurozone.

Astbury Marsden figures show that 4,320 jobs were created in the City last month, a 25 per cent jump from the 3,455 seen in April and the highest level since August 2011.

However, that is still 35 per cent down on the 6,650 believed to have been created in May 2011, as the jobs market took a serious blow from the chaos in the Eurozone last Autumn, from which it is still recovering.

“Although the Eurozone crisis is a block to a stronger and more sustained recovery in the financial services sector we have still seen a gradual return of confidence amongst City employers,” said Astbury Marsden’s Mark Cameron.

“Sentiment has improved since the latter stages of 2011 but, to put this recent recovery in perspective, the jobs market is still far lower than this time last year.”

Cameron believes the Eurozone crisis may have boosted activity in the City, as “the threat to the Euro is now seen as a risk that businesses need to consider hedging against,” for example.

“With institutional investors bearish about the Euro, currency sales teams have certainly been earning their keep,” he continued, also explaining that derivatives teams have benefitted from the additional demand for their products.

“That volatility has created income for the banks and brokers.”

The data also show there are an average of 1.6 qualified workers for every vacancy, down from 1.8 in April – a change which Cameron believes is the result of pay restraint pushing workers to sit tight instead of moving jobs.