Until not too long ago, the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) was predicting the disappearance of 20,000 jobs from the City. But it’s now had a sudden and dramatic change of heart. After further consideration, it now thinks 62,000 jobs will go in total: 28,000 in 2008 and 34,000 in 2009.
The message is clear: not only are things far, far worse than we’d thought, but they’re going to get worse still, not better.
This isn’t the first time that the CEBR has had to revise its forecasts. Until last April, it was forecasting a total of 15,000 City job losses this year and next. But the latest leap is of a far different magnitude.
The elimination of 62k jobs will apparently take the City back to employment levels previously seen following the Russian crisis in 1998. It also puts the City at the forefront of banking job losses globally: according to Bloomberg, 130,000 banking jobs have been lost in total since the crisis began.
Put into perspective, however, the CEBR’s predictions – although dire – are not as dire as they could be. It expects fewer than 20% of staff to go, with total City employment predicted to fall from 353,000 in 2007 to 291,000 in 2009. Most banks have seen revenues plummet 40% or more.
The CEBR also thinks some business areas will be less impacted than others. From 2007 to 2009, fund management, equities and professional services are expected to escape with staff cuts of 16%, 15% and 16% respectively.
Over the same period, derivatives and FX jobs (one category) are expected to fall 33% and corporate finance jobs are expected to fall 54%. Corp finance jobs have been relatively unaffected so far, but the CEBR is predicting a bloodbath unless M&A activity picks up very soon.