Recruitment firm Robert Walters says banks in London are “bored of Brexit” and are therefore hiring again. That may be true, but it was still a lot harder to find a new finance job in the UK in the first quarter of 2017 than it was two years ago.
New figures from the UK Office of National Statistics underscore this sad reality. As the charts below show, there were more financial services job vacancies in the UK during the first quarter of 2015 than there were in the first quarter of 2008 – before the collapse of Lehman Brothers. Since that time, vacancies have declined 21%.
Equally, there were 21% more finance vacancies per 100 employees two years ago than there are now. – 3.8 vacancies per head compared to three in the last two months.
Does this have anything to do with Brexit? Seemingly not. There were 1,000 more UK finance vacancies last quarter than in Q1 2016, and the number of jobs per head was the same. For the moment, therefore, it’s not Brexit that’s stifling the UK finance job market but something else. That thing may be the hiring cycle. The first chart below suggests that UK finance vacancies peak every three to four years. On this basis the next best time to look for a new banking job in London could be 2018 or 2019.