It’s a tough job market.
London - The sombre mood evident in April transformed into real numbers in May, with monthly declines in both available jobs and professionals seeking new roles. The number of available jobs decreased 5% from 8,070 in April to 7,695 in May. Job seeker numbers were marginally lower with a decrease of 2% from 13,679 in April to 13,454 in May.
“The performance of many institutions has not been encouraging, resulting in candidates not being active. However, last month we did see an increase in appetite from organisations to interview professionals looking for a new role,” said Hakan Enver, Operations Director, Morgan McKinley Financial Services.
“We still see uncertainty due to the upcoming June referendum, but we’re seeing more and more influential people from various walks of life, coming out in favour of remaining in the EU,” said Enver. “If the eventual result is a vote to remain, then I would definitely expect a pickup in job numbers in the short term. The caveat being that in recent years, quarter 3 has been subdued in regards to jobs due to it being the summer period.”
“The 36% year-on-year increase in professionals seeking new employment is interesting. There is an argument to suggest that the redundancies that have been announced over the last six months are contributing to the higher numbers of professionals now seeking new employment. At the same time, there are more individuals inquiring about opportunities outside of the investment banking arena, perhaps pre-empting the possibility of a Brexit.”
“All in all, the macro environment remains depressed, with UK confidence at a four year low,” said Enver. “This lack of confidence is affecting investment banking in particular, as firms are reluctant to initiate M&A activity.”
“We saw plenty of negativity in the air in May, but this could turn very quickly, if the market perceives the referendum result as a positive one for the UK. So there’s hope and is therefore, not all doom and gloom.”
Slowdown in the UK
The market environment for investment banks continues to sag as investment banks suffered their worst quarter since the financial crisis. Data released by industry analytics firm Coalition revealed that revenues from the 12 largest investment banks fell by 25% in the first quarter, compared to the same period last year.
The industry has been hit on all fronts: commodity prices, low and negative interest rates as well as ongoing regulatory changes which are all putting pressure on the industry. The downward trend has been long and there is no sign yet of it abating. Since 2011 revenues from fixed income, currencies and commodities are now down 49% with head count down 33%.
Other areas of banking are also feeling the pinch with job cuts and restructuring. In May RBS reported they would be cutting more than 450 jobs in the UK, with 250 in the services team and a further 200 in retail banking.
The financial sector, particularly the traditional financial centres such as New York and London, are in a long-term restructuring phase. Many of the jobs that have not been cut are being moved elsewhere. In the past five years the two cities have lost over 40,000 jobs as businesses move operations to more affordable locations.
According to a new survey, pessimism surrounding the economy runs deeper than fears of a Brexit. The FT-ICSA Boardroom Bellwether survey found that less than half of FTSE 350 companies rate a Brexit as potentially damaging. Respondents’ confidence in the country’s economy has been diminishing and is now at its lowest since 2012, with only 12% expecting an improvement over the next 12 months, down from 40% in December 2015 and 74% in July 2015.
While companies are lacking confidence, their employees are not faring any better. Employee satisfaction is at a two year low. In a survey of 2,000 people conducted by the CIPD almost a third said their employer does not provide them with opportunities to learn and grow. Private sector workers, in particular are feeling the strain, with 31% saying they come home feeling exhausted. The survey also found an increase in employees who feel they are overqualified for their job.
Women contributing above and beyond to the economy
While negative economic news has been much in the forefront, the UK’s employment rate reached a record high with an increase of 40,000, reported by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Total pay including bonuses increased by 2%. Much of the gains can be attributed to new rules which require women to retire later. The employment rate for women was 69.2% in March, the highest since records began in 1971. This shows that the government’s plans of keeping women in working life are bearing fruit.
The growing trend will likely have positive results for the overall economy. A study by Morgan Stanley found that companies with high gender diversity delivered higher returns on equity than those companies with less gender diversity. The study also found that in listed companies that delivered equal returns, those with higher gender diversity had less stock price volatility and had a “lower probability of experiencing major drawdowns.”
London ladies work the hardest
The hardest working women in the UK are in London, this according to research conducted by the online “fast beauty” company Blow LTD. Women in London work ten days more a year than women in the rest of the UK, completing an average of 1,362 hours per year, 75 hours above the national average. Female millennials in particular appear to be the hardest workers, putting in 136 hours more than the national average, which is equivalent to 18 working days in a year.
Caroline Nokes, MP for the All Parliamentary Group on Body Image and parliamentary private secretary at the Department for Transport, said: “As the number of women in work reaches record highs, it’s important that as a country we recognise the increasingly limited amount of spare time that women now have.”
The average salary for those professionals moving from one organisation to another increased to 23% in May 2016. The data shows that the Corporate Governance space still demands the largest salary moves. During May 2016, those that work in Risk Management, Compliance or Internal Audit, demanded on average, a 27% increase in basic moving from one organisation to another.
Financial services jobs new to the market May ‘16
Professionals seeking new roles May ‘16
Average change in salary each month May ‘16