LONDON Nov 13 Unfilled jobs in London's financial sector plunged by almost a half in October from a year ago, as the protracted credit crisis kept a lid on hiring. Vacancies in the City dropped 48 percent to 5,418 -- the lowest level since December -- and almost twice as many people, or 9,350 candidates, were chasing those jobs, the report by Morgan McKinley recruiters showed on Thursday.
"The City jobs market is still going through one of its most difficult periods in decades," said Robert Thesiger, who heads Morgan McKinley's parent company Imprint.
He added he did not expect hiring volumes to pick up over the next couple of months.
Banks including Citigroup (C.N), Credit Suisse CSGN.VX and Deutsche Bank (DBKGn.DE) have reduced their headcount in London over the past year as they work through credit writedowns and adjust to much slower business.
In October, the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) estimated London would have lost 28,000 financial-sector jobs by the end of this year, and a further 34,000 in 2009.
"While there will be some bonuses within the City (this season), for the majority, their bonus is likely to be that they are still employed," Thesiger added.
Morgan McKinley, which hires mainly for investment banks, hedge funds and asset managers, based the figures on records of new candidates registering with the firm in October. It worked out statistics for the full market using its market share. (Reporting by Olesya Dmitracova; Editing by Jon Loades-Carter)