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Things have been looking up for a few weeks now. To recap, BofA/Merrill and Citigroup are hiring in prime broking, Execution is hiring 180 people in corporate broking and advisory, Deutsche Bank has been hiring M&A bankers in the US, Daiwa, Mizuho, SocGen, Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse are all hiring M&A bankers in London, Barclays Capital and Nomura are engaged in exciting hiring across several sectors, and Collins Stewart, Mint and many others are hiring in credit trading.

Improving conditions are finally making themselves felt via the ever popular Morgan McKinley Employment Monitor. The latest iteration, out yesterday, showed, 1) a 14% month on month increase in new 'City' job vacancies between May and June, 2) a 2% month on month increase in average salaries.

In a statement accompany the monitor, Morgan McKinley managing director Andrew Evans said: "It is interesting to note that for the first time in at least six months, there is now some hiring activity occurring across most areas and levels within the financial services sector in the City."

While this is undoubtedly the case, there are, however, reasons for mild concern. As we mentioned in January, staff turnover fell to a low of 5% at the start of the year as bankers with jobs decided they were better off staying where they were.

Now that things are picking up, there are signs that people are coming back on to the market. And, as the chart below (derived from Morgan McKinley's figures) suggests, this is increasing competition for the (still) relatively few jobs available.

New candidates new jobs

Source: Morgan McKinley

Equally sadly, the month on month increase follows some particularly dire figures in April. And although the Employment Monitor shows jobs were up 13% month on month in May 2009, they were down 62% year on year.

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