Business

Brexit 'taking a bite out of London banking jobs'

Brexit is taking a "considerable bite" out of London banking jobs according to recruitment firm Morgan McKinley

BREXIT is taking a "considerable bite" out of London banking jobs and the city is preparing for more uncertainty as the withdrawal from the European Union becomes more protracted, according to a recruitment firm.

Morgan McKinley said there was a 39 per cent fall in jobs available in November compared with the same month a year earlier, and there was a 4 per cent decrease in jobs available compared with October.

There were 14 per cent fewer professionals seeking jobs in November compared with the month before, and 28 per cent fewer than last year.

"Brexit has taken a considerable bite out of banking jobs and with an ambiguous Brexit deal on the table, the City's bracing for more pain ahead," Hakan Enver, managing director of Morgan McKinley, said.

"It's been a year of peaks and troughs for job seekers. When you balance it out over the course of the year, however, it's a relatively flat trend. We are ending the year very much where we began."

MPs were set to vote on Prime Minister Theresa May's EU Withdrawal Agreement on Tuesday, but this was called off on Monday.

Mr Enver said it is "stunning" that the financial industry that "contributes £119 billion a year to the economy barely gets a mention" in Mrs May's 585-page draft Withdrawal Agreement.

He called for visa regulations to be modernised in the expectation that increased residency barriers for EU nationals will be offset by an easing of visa barriers for people from Asia and the US.

Mr Enver said: "If visa regulations aren't modernised, the Government will shrink the City's talent pool, effectively shrinking the economy.

"We are forced to think outside the EU paradigm, which is uncomfortable and disappointing, but also offers opportunities for a truly meritocratic visa system that would enable recruitment from top financial services cities and tech hubs worldwide."

He added that new trade deals would ease the blow from increased barriers to trade and co-operation with the EU.

Meanwhile firms are continuing to hire staff but sometimes only to "plug leaks" in their workforce, according to a new report.

Research by recruitment giant Manpower suggested that the labour market was becoming increasingly "tight".

A survey of more than 2,000 employers indicated that many were struggling to fill vacancies.

James Hick of Manpower said: "As we enter the Brexit home straight, the picture in the jobs market is very mixed.

"Overall, hiring intentions have risen, but this masks an interesting phenomenon in some sectors that we can best describe in terms of a leaking bucket, where employers are hiring to plug leaks in the workforce rather than to grow."

Manpower said that despite the "turmoil" on high streets, employer hiring intentions in the retail and hospitality sector has reached the strongest level in over a decade.

"It's hard to square numbers with turbulence on our high streets with the likes of House of Fraser, New Look and Jamie's Italian struggling, and reports of up to 85,000 retail jobs being cut in 2018.

"However, with an employee churn rate of 30 - 40%, retail has an ongoing need for new talent, and this demand has been exacerbated by a dramatic fall in the numbers of incoming migrants from the EU. This continuing demand has also been seen in recent pay rises in the sector," Mr Hick added.

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