Brexit halts hiring as City jobs market contracts
Brexit has put the brakes on hiring in the Square Mile, with new figures showing a sharp contraction in the City jobs market ahead of Article 50 being triggered.
The number of City jobs up for grabs dropped 23% to 6,945 in February, compared to 9,015 in January, according to Morgan McKinley's London Employment Monitor.
On a year-on-year basis, the City saw a 17% drop in jobs openings, down from 8,325 in February 2016.
The report said it was a clear sign that the City job market is still under stress.
"Brexit has pushed institutions into two camps," Hakan Enver, operations director at Morgan McKinley Financial Services, said.
"On one side we've got the 'business as usual' team, and on the other we have the institutions that are tired of the Government's hemming and hawing and have already begun to move jobs to other EU countries.
"It's the latter group that's contributed to the quarter drop in jobs available."
The survey results come ahead of the official trigger of Article 50 expected later this month which mark the start of Brexit negotiations, which could provide further clarity for businesses.
But Mr Enver said the data shows that Brexit has had a "fundamental depressing effect" on jobs.
Meanwhile, the number of job seekers in financial services fell 12% month-on-month in February, which was a lower number than expected given that candidates tend to register interest in January.
Year-on-year, City job seeker totals tumbled by 38%.
"London is still home to the best financial services talent in the world, but if the jobs go, so will people. And when they leave, it will devastate the financial services infrastructure, costing British citizens jobs, too," Mr Enver said.
A number of companies have already publicly announced plans to move operations out of the UK in order to safeguard segments of the business reliant on access to the single market for financial services.
Rival financial hubs including Paris, Dublin, Frankfurt and Luxembourg are expected to benefit from the exodus.