City finance vacancies being filled in record time

Vacancies in the City of London and other key financial services centres are filling faster than at any time since 2000, according to new figures.

In London, it is now taking an average of 8.6 weeks to fill a vacancy (from the date of posting the job to the date of the new employee starting. This is down from 10.0 weeks a year ago and from 11.8 weeks in March 2000, research by HR services firm The Blomfield Group found.

Scotland is following the same trend as London, with jobs now being filled in 9.7 weeks, compared with 14.3 weeks in 2001. The pattern in Dublin is similar, with vacancies being snapped up in 12 weeks, compared with 13.5 weeks a year ago.

Blomfield also estimates that the number of new jobs being offered has risen to more than 25,200 in March, up 11% on February.

Tara Ricks, managing director of Joslin Rowe Associates, the group’s permanent recruitment business, said the figures showed a return to the “bullish” conditions of the late 1990s.

“In the past couple of years we’ve seen a steady reduction in the time taken to fill jobs, following the wobble of 2004, when firms put the break on hiring activity,” she said. “This was caused by a weaker housing market and slowing GDP growth in response to a succession of interest rate rises. Since then, confidence and the speed with which vacancies have filled has surged.”

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