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As new jobs seem to plummet in September, two broad areas seem to offer hope of redemption

Mostly going down

Welcome to a Monday of rain, shortening daylight hours and only partially unmitigated job-gloom. Today brings an unfortunate triumvirate of pessimistic figures for London financial services jobs.

In the first, Morgan McKinley’s estimate for new financial services vacancies suggest that after a few months of stability, the creation of new jobs took a turn for the worse in September. As the graph below illustrates, we have come a long way (down) since the heady days of 2010.

Source: Morgan McKinley

In the second, Astbury Marsden has released its own London financial services jobs estimate. Like Morgan McKinley, it thinks that after a few good months, job creation turned negative in September and that new openings fell 13%.

And in the third piece of bad news, the CBI and PWC have released their own assessment of the situation – based on a survey of 104 companies, and they think that 9,000 jobs were cut across UK financial services industry in the past three months. Their survey also seems to indicate the likelihood of further redundancies soon: on balance, 14% of respondents in the securities trading industry are expecting headcount to fall in the months to December (the only good news being that 20% were expecting a decline this time last year). A balance of 22% of respondents in ‘finance houses’ are expecting a fall in job numbers and 30% of banking respondents also foresee a decline.

The good news  

The good news is that, as ever, jobs are not advertised in a vacuum. As new financial services job numbers have fallen, new candidate numbers have fallen too – only  faster. Therefore, in September 2012 Morgan McKinley thinks the surplus of new candidates over new jobs fell to a four year low of just 1,494 people. The implication is that if you are looking for a job, it should be easier to find one.

Source: Morgan McKinley

The other good news 

The other good news is that amidst the gloom, two areas seem to be doing pretty well: compliance and asset management.

We’ve been flagging the upsurge in compliance jobs a lot, not least because some banks have been suggesting it won’t last – suggesting that if you want to move into compliance you may want to do so soon.

The robustness of asset management jobs has gone less remarked upon. However, the CBI/PWC survey suggests it merits investigation. A balance of 42% of investment management respondents were positive about the overall business situation in their sector and a balance of 66% thought headcount will increase in the next three months. The big emphasis for asset managers is on customer acquisition and retention, suggesting marketing and investor relations professionals are going to be popular.

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