The recovery in the fortunes of the City continues with record levels of new employment reported in a new CityUK survey. This is a sign of new business growth and we should begin to see the benefit in Jersey soon. Finance jobs are high value low footprint, and as back and middle office jobs diminish they will need to be replaced by high value client facing activity. It is vital that we invest in skills development and that education attainment levels rise to keep in step with this significant trend.19 February 2014
Highlights of the report follow:-
Employment in financial and related professional services in London increased by 2% in 2013 to reach the pre-crisis peak of around 688,000. According to TheCityUK's London Employment Survey, the number of jobs in the sector recovered from a small decline in the first half of 2013 to finish the year with a 13,200 gain. This was the third successive year of growth.
As firms increasingly start to think about growth after years of restructuring, TheCityUK is forecasting a further 2.7% increase in employment during 2014 to 707,500. Indicators of financial services activity drawn from TheCityUK’s UK Competitiveness Tracker also point to a further recovery – equity market turnover, foreign exchange trading and the volume of business in UK financial services are all up on the previous year. This positive sentiment is reflected in the CBI/PwC’s fourth quarter Financial Services Survey which reported that optimism in the sector is the highest since the survey began 24 years ago.
Jobs in the City of London and Canary Wharf also fell at the outset of the credit crisis, but have recovered more quickly to 326,000 in 2013, up from the low point of under 275,000 in 2009. This means that they are 7.7% above the pre-crisis peak.
According to TheCityUK report, threats that could derail further recovery in employment include political uncertainty in the UK and EU, adverse tax policies and ill-considered sector regulation from the EU. It is important to ensure that London maintains its leading position in international markets, as financial and professional services are a key accelerator for growth, both in London and across the entire UK."
The labour market for skilled workers in the financial services industry in Jersey is firming, with productive capacity being taken up quite rapidly in the funds sector in particular. The current population policy in Jersey allows for balanced inward migration and local recruitment. The key to maintaining this balance is a robust skills development programme and high educational attainment levels. Jersey can mitigate the rising social welfare costs of an ageing population but only if it has a flexible immigration policy and a skills development programme that ensures local people can fill the demands of the roles available, and where there is a skills gap, the capacity to bring in external talent is retained in appropriate circumstances. More on how Finance makes a positive contribution to economic prosperity and a sustainable population policy here.