PAYE umbrella contractors working in London’s finance sector will be painfully aware that new placement opportunities have been somewhat thin on the ground for rather a long time; but a new report from the financial services experts Morgan McKinley suggests that the situation is at last beginning to improve. New opportunities are finally appearing for contractors working through umbrella companies in the sector after a protracted recruitment drought.

The jobs market in London’s financial services sector virtually flat-lined throughout 2008 to 2009. But Morgan McKinley’s latest London Employment Monitor hints that some form of economic defibrillation has been at work, with the number of job opportunities in financial services climbing by 11 per cent in March this year.

Not only that, but financial service workers also saw their earnings stabilising after a very turbulent few years. Turbulence in this case usually meant eyewatering decreases. But in March, the decreases seen across the city were marginal, with average takings dropping to $54,445 – a relatively modest three per cent fall which contrasts reassuringly with the more wince-making declines of recent years.

Commenting on the findings, Morgan McKinley’s Chief Operating Officer Andrew Evans said that anecdotal evidence from the company’s clients suggests “a return to a more ‘normal’ recruitment cycle” as the first quarter of 2011 draws to a close. In more economically normal conditions, he explained, it’s usual to see a rise in financial services job opportunities because bonuses would generally already have been paid. Business activity, he went on, appears to have rebounded “after a very stagnant period for the London financial services jobs market in 2008-09.”

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