Banking job market deteriorating further

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Recruitment firm Morgan McKinley has released its May report on the state of the market for banking jobs, and things appear to be getting worse. New job vacancies were down 17% in May '08 compared to May '07, and were down 8% between April '08 and May '08.

Morgan McKinley says its findings may overplay the extent of the month on month deterioration because May included two bank holidays and April didn't.

But the head of financial services recruitment at a rival firm says Morgan McKinley's snapshot is deceptively optimistic: "Job volumes are holding up, but what's more telling is the number of actual placements that are being made. A lot of companies are putting out jobs just to suss out the market and see what they can get, but those jobs are not necessarily being filled."

In finance and risk, both of which are still relatively buoyant, she says actual placements are down 25-50% on last year. In other sectors the decline is likely to be more dramatic.

There are some positives in Morgan McKinley's negative report. The number of new candidates coming onto the market fell 19% between April and May, suggesting redundancies slowed last month.