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Financial Sector Vacancies on the Rise in UK

28/01/15

summary - New employment data has shown financial sector vacancies continue to be more plentiful than they were a year ago.

The latest UK unemployment figures came as a surprise to nobody. The downward trend in unemployment has been established for over a year, so with the economy still enjoying strong growth - albeit slightly less than in the middle of 2014 - it was logical to see a fresh fall.

On that basis, there may not seem to be too much to say about the bare figures for the three months from June to August 2014 that showed a jump in the number in work of 37,000, as well as a reduction of 58,000 in the tally of unemployed. 

Indeed, the claimant count - which was more up to date as it related to December 2014 - saw a drop of 30,000 since November and 371,000 on a year before, to 870,000.

Beyond these figures, however, were the most important numbers for those seeking jobs, be they as accountants and tax experts or in any other sector. Overall, vacancies continued rising, with 700,000 in the three months to December, almost 200,000 more than in the three months ending in March 2013. In that time, the ratio of unemployed people per vacancy plunged from 5.1 to 2.8.

For the financial sector, there has been a clear rise in opportunities. An examination of the three-month tally of financial and insurance sector vacancies over the past two years shows that in the period from September 2013 to February 2014 it was around 29,000-30,000. Then it increased by 31,000 in the three months to March 2014 and has been 34,000-35,000 thereafter.

This clear improvement in job prospects has, of course, been by no means confined to this sector; construction, for instance, has been among the best performers as vacancies have soared by a third in the past two years. But it is a clear indication that after being at the heart of an economic crisis, financial firms are now confidently looking forwards and taking on more staff. 

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