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Is everyone leaving the industry?

The latest monthly figures from recruitment firm Morgan McKinley are out today. As ever, they make fairly depressing reading – new jobs are allegedly down 62% on a year ago, there are two new candidates (plus all those already in the market) chasing every one of them, and it now takes 78.2 days (precisely) to find a position, instead of the 47 days it took back in February 2008.

More curious, though, than all of this, is what’s happening to the number of financial services professionals chasing these jobs.

According to Morgan Mck’s calculations (based, apparently, on an extrapolation from the number of people registering on its own books), the number of new financial services job seekers has plummeted from a peak of around 11,800 in April 2008 to 6,750 in February.

Given new financial services jobs plummeted even more dramatically over the period, those people haven’t walked into re-employment.

Instead, there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence to suggest they’ve left the industry. Analysts and associates who are made redundant from the City are returning to their countries of origin. And as a recent article in the Wall Street Journal pointed out, senior rainmakers are either striking out alone, returning to academia, or going into retirement.

Where will this leave us when things recover? As we noted yesterday, there’s no shortage of people who’ve sunk money into MSc courses and are desperate to supplement that with experience. But when the time comes will they really have the expertise required to prise the industry off its knees?

Comments (17)

  1. Morgan Mckinley…that premier source of information regarding the front office employment situation. I don’t know why eFC has a lock-in with that firm. Are they big advertisers at eFC?

  2. Interesting stats, but the estimation of the number of job seekers is dubious – most HH forget you are on their books and looking for work unless you call them regularly and in this market many are not very good at taking calls direct from job seekers

    The job seeker Reply
  3. Two people chasing each job …

    Sarah, why does the second line of your post make it difficult to accept that you exercise any editorial judgement. – have you seen the latest unemployment figures ? What are these two million doing ?

    “Allegedly” the moon is made of cheese – but that’s not news, and I doubt it would interest your readers.

    And please stop stating that bankers are returning to academia. There are very few positions available in academia at the best of times, and very few bankers make good teachers.

  4. Job seeker – we don’t write about them for commercial reasons (our editorial is independent). We do write about them because they’re the only people who put out monthly stats on the state of the financial services job markert.

    Sarah, Editor, eFinancialCareers Reply
  5. Ok Giles, I’ll resist mentioning academia in future. I admit that the 2 people per job stat sounds a bit suspect. Was contemplating adding a skeptical remark in brackets but felt it would disturb the flow of the sentence…

    Sarah, Editor, eFinancialCareers Reply
  6. I wouldn’t take this as being particularly representative of the industry as a whole – Morgan McKinley pile ’em high and sell ’em (relatively) cheap into Back and Middle Office, which is precisely where the vast majority of job cuts and lack of new opportunities are centred. They may well be struggling, and many others are, too, but that’s what comes of riding the crest of the wave for 3 years without having a Plan B for when the markets turn.

  7. 2 people per job – I like those odds. I’ll be re-employed in no time!

  8. All there are are recycled vacancies which either do not exist or where the establishments are waiting for the freeze on headcount to be lifted. I have registered with 5 agencies in the past 3 month and not had a single call from either of them. I have taken to networking and going direct to HR depts and as a result of this I have a few things in the pipeline that are just awating approval. So in short I have not time for agencies that are simply spending time racking up the number people on their books!!!

  9. I’m going to sit back and enjoy the summer on benefits. God knows I’ve paid enough taxes.

  10. Surely 60 pounds a week won’t make for an enjoyable summer – unless you classify drinking tap water and hanging around the free ponds in Hampstead Heath a pleasant experience.

  11. Morgan McKinley have just pointed out that their job seeker figures are for new people registering for jobs each month, not for the total pool of potential candidates. The number of new registrants remains in decline, but there are obviously more than 2 people chasing each vacancy.

    Sarah, Editor, eFinancialCareers Reply
  12. Thats more like it………new people are not registering because they do not want to be mucked about!!!

  13. They are going somewhere !!…I also work in the recruitment space, and for whatever reason..it is a fact that less and less people are registering or applying for positions that we do advertise.
    My thoughts…..some have left the industry..some to Academia, some biding their time some have found jobs(but not many)..not earth shattering info..bit its a fact

  14. Top marks to the person who was approaching HR departments directly. In the 10 years I’ve been in the City NOT A SINGLE recruitment firm ever got me a job – lets face it, most recruiters are either banking burnouts or chinless Home Counties types having a “jolly jape” in the City.

    As for those of you wandering what to do after banking: write your memoirs or sex them up a bit and sell them!

  15. I believe Morgan McKinley, I also believe all those helpful emails I receive that offer me the chance to become wealthier and better endowed.

  16. and those japes are rather jolly.

  17. I agree with the fact that many redundant associates have left London and returned to their countries of origin. I am one of those. Being made redundant was the best news I had in years. I enjoyed a nice holiday paid by my bank and found a better job upon return.

    Nicolas Olivier Reply

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