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Financial sector sees sharp surge in job vacancies

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Job vacancies in the financial sector have more than doubled in the first quarter of 2010.

  According to recruitment firm Astbury Marsden, City vacancies have increased by 121% since January this year, with 53,000 expected in 2010  (up 26% since 2009) and a 21% increase in City staff looking for new jobs.

City job vacancies increased to 11,020 roles from 4,970 in the first quarter of 2009.

City workers seem to have restarted their customary post-bonus payment review of the jobs market. In 2008 and 2009 the weak jobs market meant that many employees who were dissatisfied with their jobs stayed put.
 
Mark Cameron, COO at Astbury Marsden, said: "The first quarter is traditionally a popular time for City employees looking to change jobs as many annual bonus payments will now be safely in the employee's bank account.
 
"However, over the past couple of years the tendency has been for many employees to consider themselves lucky to have a job and just sit tight.
 
"With the sharp upsurge in vacancies, caution among employees seems to be coming to an end. Most of these vacancies will arise through the churn of staff from one bank to another but there are also new roles being created.
 
"Whatever the outcome of the election in May, this surge within the City employment market is likely to continue, albeit at a more moderate pace. 2010 could prove a great year to secure a lucrative new role. This news may upset those who think that City folk should all be wearing sackcloth and ashes."
 
According to the research there are ‘clear signs' the pick-up in recruitment first spotted in investment banking is now spreading to commercial banking and traditional fund management.
 
And as well as an increase in demand for risk experts there is now a growing requirement for business analysts and project managers to deal with the backlog of work related to the unprecedented wave of mergers between financial institutions bought on by the credit crunch.
 
Cameron added: "With the assets and staff of giants such as Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch, Bear Stearns, ABN AMRO and HBOS all having changed hands over the past three years, there is now a huge backlog of work that needs to be undertaken to maximise efficiencies."

As competition for candidates grows, the second and third quarter of 2010 could witness a temporary return to the more aggressive poaching of talent that was rife in the pre-credit crunch years.