According to the London Employment Monitor by recruiter Morgan McKinley, job opportunities in London’s financial sector fell by almost 40% in 2023, as market turbulence and high inflation led employers to cut costs.
The number of available jobs in finance dropped by 38% compared to the previous year, while the number of job-seekers also declined by 16%. In the fourth quarter of 2023, there was a 42% decrease in job vacancies compared to the prior year – the biggest such decline since the 2008 global financial crisis.
Despite robust profits for banks last year, margin pressure from high inflation, a slump in deal-making and deepening geopolitical turmoil clouded the outlook. Several major employers, including Barclays and Swiss rival UBS, made deep job cuts, further souring the jobs market. Hakan Enver, the managing director of Morgan McKinley UK, said that “after a year of strong pay growth and over-hiring driven by a tight labour market, signs of a cooling market emerged as we approached the end of a challenging year. We saw a decreased number of job seekers, candidate supply and jobs available.
Employer confidence receded amid the sustained economic slowdown and conflict in the Middle East, prompting spending and hiring to be reined in.” However, Enver added that the number of job opportunities available last year was similar to 2019, prior to a significant post-pandemic hiring boom.