A flying start to 2015 for the UK financial and accounting job market

A flying start to 2015 for the UK financial and accounting job market

Throughout 2014, as the economic recovery gathered momentum, we saw a considerable amount of movement in the UK’s finance and accountancy job market with both permanent and temporary markets requirements steadily increasing. As this continues to gather pace during 2015, we take a quick look at the trends and outcomes so far.

Recent reports from a number of sources show that certain areas of London's financial industry are now in a very healthy position and for those looking for a new job, the opportunities are abundant, although in some disciplines roles do still remain scarce.

  • The number of jobs advertised within the Financial Services industry has experienced a flying start to the year, up 8.7% on 2014, according to figures released earlier in March by recruitment software provider, Recruitive.
  • Although still nowhere near the levels of 2007, the number of employees within the financial services sector in London in 2014 stood at 345,400, which is expected to rise to 352,300 by the end of 2015, going by figures released by Statistics Portal, Statista.
  • Recent media coverage in The Telegraph stated that “the number of finance jobs in London being advertised rose to 40,873 in the last year - but this remains far below the heady days of 2007, when financial firms were looking for more than 100,000 staff.”
  • This is supported by APSCo, (Association of Professional Staffing Companies), who state that UK professional recruitment firms have 29% more vacancies to advertise year-on-year, with the Financial and IT sectors at the forefront of this increase. APSCo’s report shows that permanent jobs in Finance & Accounting, rose by 17% year-on-year respectively and that average salaries across the sector were up by 5.3%.
  • This is further backed up by CBI data which states that in the final three months of last year the UK's financial sector experienced the biggest upsurge in business since 1996.

What these figures do not show is the growing demand for compliance and risk staff. With the huge increase in regulation right across the Finance industry, those able to combine product knowledge with compliance skills are now highly sought after. This is backed up by figures from the lobbying group TheCityUK, who state that accounting and management consultancy is the biggest sector in Finance, which employed 257,400 people last year, a rise of 6.3% on the previous year, and due in part to the rapidly growing demand for their compliance and regulatory expertise.

Leslie Walters at Arlington Resource Management says “A key trend which emerged in 2014 and looks set to continue through 2015 is that finance & accounting are in the midst of a candidate driven market, with the volume of opportunities outstripping the number of suitably skilled individuals available.”

Watch this space – we’ll review again in the Summer.