By Dr Laura Davison, Head of Research at the Economic Development Office, City of London Corporation
This week has seen the annual release of the latest Business Register and Employee Survey (BRES), which we use as the basis for our reporting of jobs and employment by sector. The latest figures estimate jobs as at 9th September 2016, and here I’ve looked at both what the figures tell us about overall employment in the City of London (Square Mile), and how this has changed from the year before (i.e. the change from 2015 to 2016).
Across these 12 months, jobs in the City have increased from 455K to 483K (2016) – an increase of 28K jobs (6%). This builds on a strong pattern of growth in the City since 2010, where every year since 2013 has seen overall jobs growth, as shown in the following chart.
The bulk of the new jobs created in the most recent year have been in the City’s largest sector – finance and insurance. This accounted for 18K new jobs – an 11% rise to 182K total jobs, and equivalent to 64% of the City’s total jobs growth. Within this, banking (2.5K), non-life insurance (3K), insurance brokers (2.5K) and ‘other financial services’ (2.5K) were the largest growth components.
The other City sector showing notable growth was business administration, with 5.5K new jobs – a nearly 10% increase to 63K jobs; this built on very strong growth in the previous year also. This sector is wide-ranging, covering areas such as employment agencies, leasing office equipment, and building services – though in this instance, the majority of growth (3K jobs) fell into the ‘other’ category, followed by employment placement agencies (1.5K) and general cleaning of buildings (1K).
Professional services remains the City’s second largest sector, with 115.5K jobs in 2016. In contrast to 2014 - 2015, this period has seen a small fall in jobs (2.5K fewer, a drop of 2%). Within this, though, two of the three subsectors comprising ‘related’ professional services have seen small jobs growth – a 2.5K rise in legal services jobs (to 61K) and a 1K rise in management consultancy jobs (to 31K), while the third area – accounting, has seen a small fall (0.5K fewer jobs, now 17K).
The information and communication sector, which has also shown strong growth in the City in recent years, has slowed this year, rising from 37K to 38K jobs (2.7% growth).
Other sectors in the City are both relatively small and have seen only small changes this year, although it is worth highlighting that construction has grown by 1.5K jobs to 7.5K jobs, and health similarly has grown by 1.5K to 7K jobs.
As the following chart shows, the balance of jobs in the City has remained very consistent. In 2015, the three biggest sectors accounted for 75% of jobs in the Square Mile – 36% financial services, 26% professional services, and 13% business services. In 2016, the overall figure remains 75%, split 38% financial services, 24% professional services, and 13% business services.
The data also reinforces the City’s role in wider London growth, where it makes up 9.4% of jobs. Net employment growth across London was nearly 71K new jobs, with the City accounting for the highest number of these (28K), followed by Camden (15K) and Hounslow (11K).
 Professional services is a very wide-ranging category, for example spanning areas such as architecture, research and development, advertising, and veterinary services. Here, ‘related professional services’ refers to those subsectors with the closest linkages to finance – legal, accountancy, and management consultancy.