Institutions And Professionals Disagree On Where To Relocate To

London Employment Monitor April 2018 highlights:

  •     2% decrease in jobs available, month-on-month
  •     26% decrease in jobs available, year-on-year
  •     5% decrease in professionals seeking jobs, month-on-month
  •     25% decrease in professionals seeking jobs, year-on-year
  •    19% average salary increase for professionals moving from one institution to another

2018 jobs market mirrors 2017 trajectory

April jobs figures remained largely flat, month-on-month, with a mere 2% decrease. As was the case in 2017, April saw markets shift course after the first quarter (Q1) was marked by decline. “Paired with the hiring energy we’re seeing on the ground, if 2017 is anything to go on, we’re in for slow but steady growth in the months ahead”, said Hakan Enver, Managing Director, Morgan McKinley Financial Services.

A similar trend adjustment was evident in the job seeker data, which was down, but by only 5%. The figure is modest by post-Brexit standards, coming on the heels of a 40% drop in job seekers in Q1 of 2018. “Anything goes in a post-Brexit Britain, but signs are pointing to a course correction for job seeker confidence in the jobs market”, said Enver.

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As institutions eye Frankfurt and Paris, professionals eye New York and Dublin

After almost two years of speculation surrounding which cities stand to benefit from Brexit induced job relocations from the City, institutions so far are showing a clear preference for Dublin and Frankfurt. Though none are expected to move a significant amount of City jobs overseas, recent high profile announcements make clear that some positions will inevitably be relocated.

The question, however, is whether or not talent will follow, and early signs indicate Paris and Frankfurt will be a tough sell for City professionals. A recent study conducted by Morgan McKinley surveyed 7,000 Britons from a cross section of the working population to measure their thoughts on Brexit, 20 months after the momentous referendum. When asked where they were most interested in relocating to, should they have to, 18% said the United States and another 18% said Dublin. In striking contrast to the sentiment from institutions themselves, only 8% of respondents selected Frankfurt and 9% selected Paris.

“Employers face an uphill climb to convince staff to relocate with them, and risk having to hire locally from a less qualified pool of professionals to fill positions in some of these cities”, said Enver.

Many businesses are still taking a wait-and-see approach to relocation. “Institutions are looking to see how relocation plans go for their competitors before making any big decisions, and the success of those plans rides on the ability to recruit from a top notch candidate pool”, said Enver.

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London’s remarkable resilience

The same Morgan McKinley survey found that 45% of professionals reported concern for the future of their job in a post-Brexit Britain, whereas 46% did not expect Brexit to impact theirs. “Regulatory insecurity is still holding the jobs market in the City back, but you cannot keep London down”, said Enver.

Indeed, a recent report found that London topped New York and Asian financial services hubs and was rankedthe world’s leading financial services center. Further, Lloyd’s interviewed over 100 financial services leaders and found that88% of them believe London will remain the sector’s leading city for years to come, irrespective of Brexit. “If Brexit was going to crush the City, it would have by now. Investors, talent and businesses are doing whatever it takes to ensure a smooth transition and keep business humming in the meantime”, concluded Enver.

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Average salary change still in favour of job movers

The average salary increase for a professional moving from one organisation to another in April was 19%. “This still represents a very good return on changing jobs” said Enver. There are some disciplines that continue to demand a premium, such as areas within Technology, more specifically Data Science, and legacy regulatory driven functions, namely Risk, Compliance and Internal Audit.

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