First ARM relists to the NASDAQ and sees their share price double since their IPO. Now more companies are being targeted as the UK struggles to compete in a new world order, where it is no longer able to operate as the financial services capital of the EU.
This week, it was reported that the economic downturn in Q4 had meant the UK is in recession. Hardly the news Sunak needed on the eve of two by-elections. Hunt was quick off the mark talking about the fact that overall the economic indicators are positive looking ahead, which is fair comment, equally the fact salary inflation remains high, has led to suggestions that any hope of interest rates coming down in the first half of the year are fanciful.
It’s official. The green shoots of recovery in the technology industry are emerging. This past week vacancies hit levels only seen previously a handful of times in the past year. After a challenging 2023, where VC/PE funding became significantly harder to obtain (TMT deals fell 24% on the year before, to the lowest levels in five years) looking ahead, the signs are positive and London in particular is picking the pace.
Since the war in Ukraine began, the exposure the UK has regarding energy has become ever more clear. The move to renewable energy sources is admirable, equally the challenge has been the seasonality leading to surges and shortfalls, where the steps the Government have taken to resolve this are starting to manifest, with jobs in Energy in Scotland now hitting record levels.
After what has been a quiet year for legal vacancies across commerce and industry, we have seen a significant surge this November, where the total (170) was higher than any month in 2019, the last year before the pandemic period.
If the Conservative party are to win the next election, they will need not just a serious implosion within the Labour party, but also for the UK economy to pick up in a way where they can take the credit. Longer term, the UK remains mired in the same issues that it has had for some time now, limited productivity increases, an ever increasing national debt (we last ran a budget surplus over 15 years ago) and ultimately most importantly, GDP per capita falling.
In what could become a landmark speech for Financial Services, Ursula von der Leyen has thrown down the gauntlet in a bid to create a new stock exchange to rival any in the world. Her plan, to unify the bourses of Paris, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Madrid and Milan into one, would result in an exchange which would be the largest in Europe by some distance (including London) and be able to compete directly with New York, or anywhere else.
Whisper it quietly, but some of those benefits of leaving the EU are actually starting to materialize. For those in Life Sciences, new regulations taking effect have meant that the MHRA can now fast-track applications, where as a result, approvals can happen in certain instances, within 14 days.
As the dust settles on the decision to cancel HS2, while the political fallout may prove high across the regions, the economic consequences are still unclear. By the same token, what is clear is the fact that over the past five years, the trend of regionalisation has taken effect and increasingly, businesses are expanding teams away from the capital. In 2023 this trend has seen a high point, in the sense that 64% of all vacancies in the private sector can now be found outside the capital, up from 56% pre-pandemic.
To say the war in Ukraine has caused the dysfunction in the UK’s energy strategy to be exposed is an understatement. Renewable energies, whilst in unit cost terms are coming down, don’t generate sufficient power all year round to be viable. What this had meant is the UK would be generating a surplus over summer, whilst buying power from the continent over the winter. Up until the Ukraine war, that had worked and had meant the long-term storage facilities at rough had been shut down for example, as power had always been available from the continent.
Keeping an eye on regulatory changes impacting your sector is a key way to stay one step ahead of the market. Recently announced, the Data Protection Act 2023 has caused a rise in hiring data privacy lawyers, making it the top skill in demand for in-house legal counsel nationwide. Data Privacy now accounts for 8.4% of all in-house legal vacancies, surpassing other specialist functions.
When Bill Gates was asked in 2016, which three areas the students of today should focus on to be future-proofed, he said economics, mathematics and computer science. Just over five years later, generative AI is changing the paradigm again, where for people in IT Development, they are not just the disruptors, but also becoming the disrupted.
As we have touched on before many times, 2023 has been quiet compared to the mania of the last few years and job volumes have been significantly lower. This has led to talent teams within businesses being scaled back and given this is the most critical function for businesses looking to hire, it acts as a good indicator as to business confidence. When businesses increase hiring into internal recruiters, there is confidence in growth, when vacancies drop, this means there will be less hiring.
As we enter the final quarter of the year, for many people, 2023 has been challenging in a way not seen for several years. Job flow has slowed down, and as a result, for recruiters, revenues have dropped too. In previous posts we have touched on, how vacancies have dropped year on year, equally what is interesting when looking at 2023, is the variance by sector. For some markets, there should now be signs of optimism, where for others, Q3 saw the lowest job totals posted in the year to date.
As the UK economy teeters between anaemic growth, a cost of living crisis, strikes over pay crippling the public sector along with interest rates at generational highs leading to recruitment slowing down significantly when compared to 2022, it can be easy to be negative. Nonetheless, as business leaders, the challenge is to find a way to succeed regardless. In recruitment, that starts with identifying markets which are outperforming others, and segments that still seeing buoyant demand. With that in mind, this week, we have highlighted Luxury Goods as a sector to watch. Why?