The news comes as fears grow that the economic recovery is not likely to be as strong or as fast as previously forecasted.
The study was commissioned by city pre-employment screening firm, Powerchex (powerchex.co.uk), which looked at confirmed employment offers made during December 2010. The figures showed that the number of confirmed job offers fell 21% in December, compared to the previous month.
The biggest losers were Investment Banks, where opportunities dropped by 65%, and Insurance firms, down 17%. Gains in Investment Management, Stockbrokers and Hedge Funds (up 12%, 5% and 1% respectively) were not enough to stop overall recruitment activity within FS by falling by more than a fifth.
Alexandra Kelly, MD and founder of Powerchex and now MD of HireRight’s screening operations in EMEA, is concerned that December may mark the start of a difficult few months.
“Nervous not to get left behind when the economy picked-up, I suspect that many companies may have over-hired during 2010. I wonder whether we may be facing a slow couple of months as companies look to reduce their staffing levels in line with their business needs.
“It is important,” Kelly continues, “to put the December figures in the context of the past couple of years; 37% more job offers were made by FS companies in 2010 compared to 2009. In fact, recruitment activity is up across all industry sectors, which means that we would need to see a catastrophic decline in fortunes across the whole of FS to get anywhere close to 2009 levels.
“For those looking for opportunities within Financial Services, bear in mind that things are much much better than in 2009.”