Ugly Jobs Decline Rattles Financial Services

As published in last weeks Financial Standard.

Friday, 26 October 2012 11:50am


Australia has experienced the world’s largest drop off in financial service jobs with a 34% drop in the third quarter of 2012 compared to the same time last year, according to the quarterly Jobs Barometer from eFinancialCareers.

While the decline is significant, Australia is not alone, with every world region registering double-digit year-on-year reductions in financial services jobs.

Meanwhile, over the same period, Singapore and Hong Kong reported decreases of 5% and 23% respectively.

While finance jobs in the US (18%) and the UK (24%) were down, continental Europe experienced a decline of 28%.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom said, George McFerran, managing director Asia-Pacific at eFinancialCareers.

He noted that the current situation represents a low-hire rather than a no-hire environment.

“The last 12 months have shown that Australia is not immune to the redundancies that have swept through global financial services,” he added. “The pace of hiring has slowed, and organisations are being very conscious about costs.”

McFerran said hiring in the financial services sector has always been very up and down but this time the contraction is more fundamental.

Looking ahead, he said hiring is likely to stay much the same for the rest of this year, with banks only focused on replacement hiring.

Despite of the significant declines experienced in most parts of the world, there are still hiring activity.

The quarter-on-quarter figures (Q3 2012 – Q2 2012) show significant growth across the APAC region in the last three months in several key areas.

McFerran explained that insurance hiring is occurring on a larger scale, and is up 23% quarter-on-quarter. “Recent natural disasters have also reinforced the need for support staff.”

eFinancialCareers, is a global career site network for professionals working in the investment banking, asset management and securities industries.