Shock news: everyone was on holiday in August

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Morgan McKinley, the bastion of middle and back (plus some front) office recruitment in the City, released its latest monthly employment monitor today. The results are either depressing or gently heart warming, depending upon your state of mind.

The depressing news is that job vacancies were down a chilling 32% in August 2008 versus August 2007.

The gently heart-warming news is that the number of people registering for new jobs was down by even more: 37%.

The implication seems to be that either banking recruitment is going the way of large lattes and M&S premium dinners, or that everyone decided to take a much-needed break in August.

If the latter's true, it might be that a sense of zen-like calm has pervaded the banking job market. Yes, things are bad - but a month away from it all helps put the badness into perspective.

Of course, this was before Lehman struck. And it may be that banking jobs really are nose-diving and there are no new candidates because everyone's too scared to contemplate moving on.