The number of jobs in Britainís financial sector is set to reach an all-time high of 339,000 in 2006, according to a figures released today.
A report by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) predicts that employment in the City will grow by 8,000, or 2.6 per cent, this year, and by a further 7,000 in 2005.
Between now and 2008, it forecasts that 35,000 new jobs will be created in the City, with highest overall growth in the securities dealing sector..
The report estimates that financial sector jobs may have peaked at 338,000 in the third quarter of 2001, an increase on its previous estimate of 326,000. But over the next year, employment fell to 300,000 as equity markets slumped and mergers and acquisitions dried up.
Hardest hit were corporate finance, with jobs falling by 23 per cent, and international banking, which saw a 20 per cent cut. But both are now recovering.
"International banking in particular has huge potential, especially in emerging markets like China, which are likely to drive activity in this area," the report states.
The securities dealing sector is expected to have the highest overall rate of employment growth at more than three per cent between now and 2007. By 2008, employment in securities is expected to be 20,000 higher than it was in 2000.
But the CEBR warns that its projections could be affected by external risks to the global economy, including oil price spikes. If inflation worries spur central banks into aggressive monetary action, this could dampen economic growth which could have damaging repercussions for financial employment.