City job vacancies drop after Brexit vote: Study

A pedestrian walks past the Bank of England in the City of London on July 14, 2016.
A pedestrian walks past the Bank of England in the City of London on July 14, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (AFP) - Vacancies in the City of London finance hub sank 12 percent in July from the previous month following the shock Brexit vote, a study by consultancy Morgan McKinley showed Wednesday (Aug 10).

The number of available City jobs fell to 7,980 in July, compared with 9,060 in June, according to Morgan McKinley.

The impact was however less than expected after the June 23 referendum to leave the European Union, which has triggered deep economic uncertainty.

Hakan Enver, operations director at Morgan McKinley, said in a statement that the fall was "a modest decline given the gravity of the referendum".

"Hiring slowed as institutions found themselves in a post-Brexit limbo but the impact of the referendum was not as aggressive as we expected," he noted.

The consultancy added that available City jobs sank by about 27 per cent in July, when compared with the same month a year earlier.

The study also highlighted a 14 per cent drop in the number of job seekers in July from June, which Enver said could be explained in part by seasonal variations during a relatively quiet period for financial markets.

"Jumping ship in a climate of uncertainty is particularly risky for employees," Enver said.

He said the jobs climate in the City was also very dependent on mergers and acquisitions activity, which has dipped as a result of the referendum.

"When deals are placed on hold, in many instances, so is hiring," Enver said, adding that takeover activity was "an excellent barometer of confidence".

Around a million people are estimated to work in Britain's financial industry.

Pro-EU campaigners have argued that many jobs could be put at risk if companies choose to relocate to the EU in case of Brexit.