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Does Melbourne have Australia’s best jobs market?

With many global i-banks freezing their hiring or cutting staff, Sydney’s gateway-to-the-world status isn’t looking quite so appealing to job seekers. Is it time to move your career to Melbourne?

As investment banks bear the brunt of the credit crunch, Melbourne’s market is staying comparatively immune to the meltdown.

Melbourne-based recruiters reckon their city’s job market has recently become more buoyant than Sydney’s because it is dominated by asset management firms, superannuation funds and domestic banks, rather than the struggling global banking giants.

One recruiter comments: “A lot of the boutique asset management and private equity firms in Melbourne are looking to hire investment bankers. Sectors such as compliance and risk are in demand, as is contracting work.”

The majority of Australia-bound British bankers are now choosing Melbourne over Sydney, adds the recruiter. “It’s a lifestyle choice too. Melbourne property prices are still below those in Sydney and the transport system is much better here.”

But some still say a jobs-for-the-boys culture prevails in Melbourne. One headhunter remarks: “To get ahead here, especially in fund management, it’s about who you know, what school you went to.”

So does the jobs market in Melbourne now have more meat to it? Give Sydney the cold shoulder below.

Comments (10)

  1. There is some truth in this, but the main reason seems to be a negative one due to a downturn in SYD. Melbourne isn’t generating any more jobs than last year (less in fact), it’s just that Sydney may have slumped a little more.

  2. If you’d rather work at ANZ than the bulge bracket, then be my guest and move to Melbourne. Just know that you’ll get stuck there and won’t be able to move to New York when the markets pick up. Great city, small market.

  3. It’s still about a 70/30 split in financial services – in favour of Sydney

  4. ZT, that’s true (or perhaps 60/40), but if you want to escape big firms and have some real freedom, then Melboune’s the place to start a hedge fund, work in PE etc. And it won’t take you an hour and a half to get to work.

  5. It’s not all about escaping the big firms – two of the main Au banks are HQ’ed in Melbourne, most of the international banks have an office here (all be it smaller than Syd), plus you’ve got pwc etc.

  6. melb has two of the main AUst banks (NAB and ANZ) HQ in melb…but that is no major plus given the way NAb and ANZ are currently travelling.

    sydney is far superior to melb as a financial centre. Sydney is an international city with everything to offer lifestyle wise.

    The choice is clear…if you work in an investment bank, sydney is the only place to be.

  7. I disagree there are more jobs in syd than in melbourne, you can simply justify my answer by typing finance in seek, you will get many more jobs in syd than in melbourne

  8. It’s certainly true there are substantially more executive roles advertised in Sydney than Melbourne. Outside of the banking and telecommunications arenas, Melbourne jobs tend to be more operational, Sydney more commercial. Maybe it is jobs for the boys but that is probably because Melbourne is more connected whereas Sydney can be transient.

  9. The talent Melbourne is as good, if not better than Sydney and at a lower cost base. Perception vs reality with Sydney market.

  10. I’d have to agree with the Melbourne head-hunter and the ‘jobs for the boys’ comment. If there are asset mgt jobs in Melbourne they’re hard to find. Its also hard to find a recruiter that actually knows the market – “Finance is finance. Right?”!!

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