A loss of professional talent due to Brexit is what the City of London, home to the U.K.’s largest trading and financial services, is suffering from, according to a warning of U.K. job recruitment agency.
“The City is still haemorrhaging talent because of Brexit, and we risk losing jobs, too,” said Hakan Enver, operations director at recruitment consultancy Morgan McKinley Financial Services, in a press release published Tuesday.
The number of jobs and job seekers in the City, London’s financial center, grew for the fourth consecutive month, reveals the latest London employment monitor for July. While the number of professionals seeking jobs increased 12 percent, compared to a decrease of 14 percent in the same month last year, the number of jobs available increased 1 percent month on month.
However, while the number of jobs available has shrunk 11 percent, due to the uncertainty weighing on the economy, the number of professionals seeking a job in the financial capital is down 33 percent over a year.
“Normally the City clocks out for July, but with the industry being swept from under them, people are scrambling to make the most of the time left in the EU,” said Enver.
“EU nationals who want to stay in Britain have a shrinking window of opportunity to get a job and permanent residency, and many are seizing it.”
A huge contribution to the U.K. economy is made by the city of London.
Contributing £48 billion ($62 billion), or around 3 percent, in gross value added to the U.K.’s national income, in 2015 the City employed 1.5 percent of the U.K.’s total employment, according to the most recent available survey made on 2015 data.
But many financial firms are putting off job recruitment or are preparing to open offices within the EU with the future trading relationship of the U.K. and the European Union still to be negotiated.
When the United Kingdom leaves the EU, asset manager Standard Life is considering Ireland as its European base, for example, said its CEO in a television interview.
Similar plans have also been announced by other firms. For example, while HSBC will relocate 1,000 roles to Paris, Bank of America announced in July it would move some roles to Dublin.
“The language has changed. Employers and employees used to talk about ‘if’ they had to leave London. Now they’re talking about ‘when’ they leave London,” added Enver.
With the aim of minimizing friction on trade with the bloc after Brexit while allowing the U.K. to negotiate new trade deals elsewhere, the U.K. Brexit minister Davis Davis is slated to outline the government’s proposal for an interim customs agreement with the EU, and this report come sjust as that plan is to be made public.
A smooth and orderly transfer to a new trading regime would be allowed by this temporary regime, the government said.
This temporary agreement would serve as a bridge for businesses, said Gerard Lyons, chief economic strategist at Netwealth.
“There’s been all this talk of cliff edged and that sort of stuff, but what we really have here is a different analogy. It’s a bridge: you can see what you’re getting on, you want to know how long the bridge is and where it’s going to take you,” he said.
“And what we’re seeing proposed here is a bridge to counteract all those talks and fears of a cliff edge.”
(Adapted from CNBC)