The latest Morgan McKinley London Employment Monitor has recorded the third-largest rise in the number of jobs available in the capital during September. At 8,400, this is a relatively modest increase of one per cent on the previous month, but it counters the slight five per cent decrease on the same time in 2015, which was in the midst of an aggressive H2 downturn in available jobs.
Hakan Enver, Operations Director at Morgan McKinley Financial Services, said that the figures suggest an ongoing appetite for recruitment. He welcomed a second consecutive month of positive growth and compared last September’s 12 per cent YoY drop in the number of candidates available with this year’s nine per cent YoY rise.
However, he acknowledged that it is difficult to tell whether this post-summer spike is being influenced by growing market confidence or fears of layoffs – European banks, for example, have been in the headlines for the scale of redundancies that they have made recently. He said: “Whilst the banking industry has been under scrutiny, it can make candidate decisions to commit to organisations harder.”
London has been the financial hub of Europe, but the Prime Minister’s recent announcement that Article 50 would be triggered by the end of March coupled with increasingly worrying Government statements about passporting have combined to produce a huge impact on the financial industry.
Passporting refers to the right for any financial services company in any European Economic Area (EEA) state to establish branches in any other EEA country or provide cross-border services. Around 5,500 UK-based companies rely on this passporting right to conduct their business in Europe, while an additional 8,000 European companies use it to conduct business in the UK.
Government sources, however, have suggested that no attempts to maintain access to the single European market for UK companies are on the Prime Minister’s agenda, a development that prompted Mr Enver to declare: “Given the number of businesses affected in Britain and across the EU, and the massive contributions made by City workers to the British economy, it’s frankly shocking to see the Government take such a dismissive attitude towards passporting.”
In August, Enver acknowledged the enormous role played by the temporary/contracting market in sustaining the number of jobs available in the capital both pre- and post-Brexit.
It seems likely under current uncertain conditions that employers will continue to rely on Umbrella Company Employees and other independent contractors to access talent without, as Enver said in August, “Employers are using the opportunity to bring on talent without the long term commitment particularly considering the uncertainty that lies ahead. Temporary staff are more mobile and the contractual nature means that assignments can be extended with relative ease, if needs be.”