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  • Writer's pictureMax Austin

UK tax vacancies fall year-on-year

Updated: Mar 21

Professional tax jobs in London plunged by 13.8% compared to 2021, which saw a total of 16,000 vacancies registered, according to a report by Morgan McKinley.

Max Austin, Reporter, Accountancy Daily

The latest UK finance labour market trends report, compiled by Morgan McKinley, showed that tax jobs in London saw over 1,400 new professional vacancies across all sectors in 2022.

In total, this constituted over half (50.7%) of overall hiring for tax experts in the past year, with firms like EY leading the recruiting race.

However, when compared to 2021, recruitment trends for tax jobs in London plummeted by 13.8% - when more than 16,000 tax vacancies were registered.

Annual totals outside of London reached over 1,300 new jobs last year, showing a further 14.3% year-on-year fall when compared to 2021.

Split by quarters, Q3 2022 was the peak for tax vacancies, with 361 jobs posted. However, the best quarter across the 2021-23 period was experienced a year earlier in Q3 2022, with more than 470 tax vacancies published.

Within the top 10 accountancy firms hiring in London, Big Four firm EY was the number one recruiter for tax jobs and was the only firm that published over 100 vacancies in 2022.

However, the report forecasts the firm to experience a considerable drop of 61.1% in 2023 when compared to the year before.

PwC ranked second with almost 100 new jobs posted and is estimated to register a year-on-year growth of around 5.3% in 2023.

Outside London, KPMG dominated the market, registering over 120 jobs for tax professionals last year. The accounting and consulting multinational firm also performed remarkably in London, publishing 70 new vacancies in 2022.

Tom Wood, senior manager at Morgan McKinley, said: ‘In general, the first quarter of the calendar year has been challenging for several sectors, but whilst the tax market has had its own challenges, it is fair to say that it has been slightly less volatile than it was in 2022.

‘It still remains tricky to attract tax professionals from newly qualified to senior manager level due to the specific requirements of both clients and candidates alike.

‘However, there has certainly been increased internal capacity for hiring into tax teams, which is in no small way down to the introduction of Pillar 2 in the next 12 months. This will have a particular effect on larger corporations.’

Real estate and construction was the sector that experienced the fastest growth year-on-year, recording a staggering 161.7% compared to 2021.

In relation to region, the South East took the runners-spot after London, achieving over 300 new vacancies. The overall proportion of total regional hiring grew by one percentage point, constituting 12% of all new tax vacancies in the past year.

However, the most significant yearly change across the 2021-23 period was experienced in the South West, which saw tax vacancies fall by 29.9% compared to 2021 – dropping from more than 300 to over 200 job postings.

Notably, this region posted the best Q1 2023 performance after London, with over 70 new jobs published.

The report was compiled by Morgan McKinley and market data analysts Vacancysoft.

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