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Financial sector sees massive drop in job vacancies since January last year

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There were 64% fewer job vacancies in the financial sector in January 2009 than in January 2008.

The number of job applicants in the sector was up 32% from December 2008 but was still 40% lower than January 2008, according to Morgan McKinley. And those who managed to get a job in the financial sector took an average of 80.9 days to do so - almost three weeks longer than January 2008.

The average salary in the City of London fell by 6% in January since the same time last year and now stands at £49,983.

Andrew Evans, managing director of Morgan McKinley, said: "Redundancies have meant significant numbers of people have been forced to start looking for new job opportunities and at present these individuals are making up the vast proportion of new candidates each month.

"Those in employment are choosing to stay where they are rather than enter a volatile jobs market, particularly if they think there is a chance of a bonus payout.

"When there are more candidates in the market than available jobs, the pressure on employers to pay inflated salaries eases and so, inevitably, there will be some stabilisation or slight reduction in basic salaries. Of course specialist skillsets in certain areas will continue to attract above-average compensation."