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City job vacancies spike for first time since Brexit

City job vacancies spike for first time since Brexit

The number of jobs vacancies in London financial services has risen by 6 per cent year on year, marking the first such increase since the vote to leave the European Union, Morgan McKinley's London Employment Monitor revealed.

The figures, which counted the number of City jobs available in November, also recorded a month-on-month reduction of 14 per cent - which was less than last year's corresponding figure.

Hakan Enver, operations director at Morgan McKinley Financial Services, said the year-on-year figure painted a "remarkable picture".

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“This is the first post-Brexit year-on-year increase in jobs that we’ve seen," he said.

"Heading into the New Year with a higher base of jobs compared to last year, bodes well for City employment in 2017."

The number of job seekers in the City went in the opposite direction, increasing by 16 per cent year-on-year. However, it was down 9 per cent month-on-month. 

On a darker note, the firm recorded a surge in "top talent" registering with them to consider jobs in Europe.

This trend - which would be enhanced if UK firms lose their passporting rights under the terms of Brexit - could be "potentially devastating", the Morgan McKinley warned.

“In this day and age you have to be willing to relocate to have a successful career”, Mr Enver said.

“In the event of a hard Brexit, professionals will put their careers ahead of geographic preferences and in so doing, economic growth could stall by five to ten years.”

As a possible preventative measure of such a "brain drain", the firm pointed to London Mayor Sadiq Khan's proposal for a "London specific Brexit", which would protect the freedom of non-British nationals to work in the capital.

On the subject of earnings, Morgan McKinley predicted wages would struggle to keep up with rising inflation.

However, it found that financial services were buffered from this effect, with the average salary in the City rising by 18 per cent.

"Despite this, a stagnation of wage growth for such a large portion of the population would invariably decrease consumer spending, causing economic contraction," the firm warned.

james.fernyhough@ft.com