It's not looking good if you fancy landing a job in the Australian financial services market.
The Aussie banking sector job market is floundering, according to the most recent monthly instalment of the Olivier Job Index.
Report author Bob Olivier, a director of recruiter Olivier Group, attributes the poor results - down 5.12% in February - to the credit crunch, interest rate rises and the stock market sell-off. "Sub-prime write-offs have hurt some of the biggest global investment houses and their Australian operations are sharing some of the pain."
Olivier says retail banking and mortgage sector jobs are taking most of the heat. "The non-bank lenders aren't doing business as they're not sure if their lines of finance will continue and, if so, at what price. They are letting staff go. Corporate finance and IB roles also took a battering last month."
On a more positive note, Olivier claims low multiples and share prices may encourage M&A activity. "Business and corporate banking seems to be holding up well. Good credit people will do well in this market. It's also boom time for turnaround and corporate recovery specialists."
He adds: "Temp and contract work is holding up well and employers may opt for this option while the uncertainty remains and budgets are under scrutiny.".
Sydney-based recruiter and job growth sceptic John Coles, CEO of Executive Group International, says all segments of the banking job market are hurting. "I just can't see any pockets of resistance."
"More people are being asked to leave and not being replaced. However, I don't think there is any active downsizing going on - at least not in a big way."