The number of job vacancies in the City of London is almost 50% lower than a year ago, according to Morgan McKinley, the financial recruitment specialists.

Hiring activity in the City has slowed as the credit crunch has tightened its grip on the financial sector and banks have announced mounting redundancies.

The Centre for Economics and Business Research expects 62,000 jobs to have been lost in the City by the end of next year – a fall of more than 17%.

According to Morgan McKinley, City vacancies in October were 48% lower than in the same month last year. The number of people looking for jobs had also slowed as 'fears over job security' meant that many had decided not 'to venture into the jobs market'.

Difficult market conditions also meant that it was taking longer to find work assuming that new jobs could be found. It currently took an average of 56 days to secure a new post, 11.3 days longer than a year ago, said the recruitment company.

Financial Times