GVA, or gross value added, which is the measure of the value of goods and services produced by the finance and legal sectors, fell 2% last year, a drop of £30 million to the Island’s economy in real terms (accounting for inflation). The sector’s total GVA is now £700m below its 2007 peaks.
Labour statistics show that while the numbers employed have remained relatively steady, the finance and legal sectors are shrinking as a percentage of total employment.
In December 2017 it accounted for 22% of the labour market, while in 2007 it was 25%. Last year also saw a drop in the numbers of school and University leavers who were employed by the sector. 250 took up jobs direct from education in 2017, a steady decline since 2014 when 390 were offered jobs.
What is particularly worrying is the steady decline in productivity, combined with the 12% rise in employment costs last year compared to 2016.
Renny Gould, senior consultant at Optimus Recruitment said: ‘Whilst it is disappointing to see productivity fall by three per cent and GVA also decrease, it is interesting to see certain sectors are flourishing: trust and company revenues increased by 14 per cent and fund administration by 11 per cent.
‘Both trust and company administration and funds services are crying out for people with between two to six years’ experience, while at the same time we are also seeing an increased demand for trainee level staff and for those at senior levels. Each of these growth areas need support teams and it is also in the areas of compliance and accounting we are seeing a good deal of activity.’