Employment in London has hit a record high of 709,500 in December 2014 – up 2.5% year-on-year – driven largely by a surge in professional services jobs (up 4.3%). TheCityUK expects this upwards trend to continue over 2015, forecasting a 2.7% rise, or a further 19,200 jobs.
Accounting and management consultancy saw the biggest rise in jobs, up 6.3% to 257,400, followed by the fund management sector, which rose by 4.7% to 25,300. Financial services jobs increased throughout 2014, after experiencing a decline of 4% in 2013.
TheCityUK’s Survey also shows that for the first time since 2009, employment growth outside of London has outpaced that in the capital, up 2.7% to over 2.1 million. UK-wide industry job growth is forecast to rise 2.5% by the end of this year. This will see 54,000 new jobs created across the country – taking employment in the industry across the UK above the peak in 2007.
According to Chris Cummings, Chief Executive, TheCityUK, these figures underscore the value of the industry to the national economy. 'A strong financial and related professional services industry and a strong economy go hand-in-hand. As well as being a significant employer in its own right, the industry also underpins job creation and boosts growth across the broader economy, helping finance hospitals, schools and roads. Its continued strength right across the UK is a positive indicator of the health of the economy.'
With the General Election looming, TheCityUK is calling on policymakers to create a supportive policy environment that will ensure the continued competitiveness of London’s financial and related professional services industry.
Cummings said, 'London’s position as the pre-eminent international financial centre and the value that brings to the national economy should not be under-estimated. This industry is the nation’s leading tax payer contributing £66bn to the Exchequer just last year and also attracts more Foreign Direct Investment than any other industry in the UK. It is essential that the country continues to attract overseas firms, foreign direct investment and the best talent by sending a clear message that it is a genuinely competitive and world-leading place to do business.
'There are a range of measures that can help to achieve this, including better regulation and indeed making sure that any new regulation only improves our international competitiveness and attractiveness; helping people build up skills for life no matter what age, remaining in a reformed EU, and investing in infrastructure to ensure prosperity is shared fairly across the country,' he concluded.