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Vacancies lure bankers into new role hunt

The jobs market in the City got off to a good start this year, with job opportunities in financial services jumping by 60 per cent last month. Newly available job vacancies surged to 4,646 from 2,898 a year ago, when hiring in the sector hit a low point.

Following the usual seasonal dip in hiring over the Christmas period, recruitment levels across the financial services sector returned to a normal pattern of growth in the New Year.

The momentum behind City professionals looking for new roles also picked up in January, with numbers increasing by 54 per cent from December to 6,760. However, compared with January 2009, the number was only up by three per cent.

“A greater proportion of those starting their job search this January are likely to be doing so voluntarily. This would not have been the case this time last year,” explained Andrew Evans, managing director of Morgan McKinley’s financial services division.

“With improved confidence in the market, more job opportunities starting to filter through and some bonus payouts having been announced, those in employment are becoming more inclined to kick off their job search.”

The average City salary remained broadly stable at £50,464, edging down one per cent from December but was up one per cent on the same month last year.

“There were more new job opportunities in January than at any point in 2009, which is very encouraging,” said Evans.

“However, we are still a long way off pre-financial crisis hiring levels.”

He said a more accurate gauge of job growth is the seven per cent increase in job vacancies from November to January. “Any further improvement in the hiring market over the next few months is likely to be gradual, reflecting the pace of recovery in the UK economy.”