Tuesday 29 March 2016 12:01 am

Financial services lead strong growth in professional sector pay

Chris Papadopoullos was City A.M.'s economics reporter until February 2016.

Chris Papadopoullos was City A.M.'s economics reporter until February 2016.

Pay the professional sector is rising robustly, new figures released today show.

The average salary in the professional sector – which includes lawyers, doctors, accountants and generally any role requiring a degree – was 5.1 per cent higher in February than the same month last year.

Pay for accountants rose 8.9 per cent, the data from the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (Apsco) shows. Bankers’ pay is up 5.7 per cent.

Demand for professional staff has gone up, but sectors have had markedly different fortunes. The overall number of vacancies is two per cent higher than a year ago. In financial services vacancies are up 13 per cent.

The number of available roles also increased strongly in marketing but IT and engineering job openings declined four per cent and 12 per cent, respectively. Demand for contract workers, typically for short-term projects, rose strongly in financial services with the number of opportunities up 85 per cent. Across the board they are up seven per cent.

“Despite highly published job losses within the investment banking arms of Credit Suisse and RBS, and fears that an EU exit could cost up to one million jobs, our data shows that demand for permanent talent in the sector remains strong despite Brexit uncertainty,” said Apsco chief executive Ann Swain.

“While the current regulatory environment has resulted in traditionally high-risk areas such as investment banking shedding UK-based staff as they become less profitable, it has simultaneously created opportunities for compliance, analytical and change management specialists to work across other areas of the banking sector.”