Umbrella Company Employees contracting in the City’s financial services sector may have noticed a dip in the availability of assignments in December last year as vacancies fell by 42% on the previous month.
So says the latest London Employment Monitor from Morgan McKinley, which reveals that job openings in the City tumbled from 7,056 in November to 4,095 in December. The drop is not the harbinger of gloom it might at first appear to be, however: year-on-year, job availability in December actually rose by 51%.
The December tail-off appears to have been an anticipated seasonal effect. Morgan McKinley’s operations director, Hakan Enver, explained that recruitment in the City is traditionally challenging during December, largely because the Christmas break effectively means that there are only three weeks of core business available.
Mr Enver added: “This December, the situation was further exacerbated by the fact that certain institutions were encouraging their contractor population to take extended days leave in order to maintain their cost base. In addition, while some organisations had budgets signed off in December, many have waited until the New Year to release vacancies.”
The year-on-year comparison was, he said, “very encouraging”, with hiring up by 51% and active job seekers rising by 45% on December 2012. Furthermore, Mr Enver added, January typically brings a “massive boost” in City recruitment and this year looks certain to be no different.
Most of the new roles created in December were governance-related positions, Mr Enver explained, driven by ongoing regulatory changes; however, there were also openings in support, finance, IT and change management.