James Moore: Ignore the doom-mongers, the City lights are getting brighter all the time

Outlook There are still people who would have you believe that those employed in London's financial centre are falling over each other to get on the last plane out of town.

The doom-mongers will tell you that nasty new regulations enforced by nasty new regulators with the willing connivance of politicians desperate to appease a vengeful public mean that the party's not just over, it's shipped off to Singapore and Hong Kong and won't be coming back. If only Pippa Middleton would follow.

How then, to view yesterday's figures from the City of London Corporation and Oxford Economics that showed the total number of people in jobs across Greater London is now ahead of where it was before the recession started to bite, driven by the financial centre?

It's true that the banking industry is still suffering from its prolonged post credit crunch hangover. But other sectors are more than picking up the slack, such as fund management, insurance, legal and professional and business services.

In other words, turn the lights back on and (sigh) call back Pippa. The party's just getting started. Up to a point, anyway.

We've become so accustomed to seeing the City in terms of banking that it is often forgotten that it is much more than a one trick pony. It might even be that the banking industry's troubles are helping other parts of the City's fauna by diverting the sort of bright graduates who used to be vacuumed up by investment banks into alternative areas.

Whether that's true or not, what is clear is that the City of London is getting over a financial crisis it helped to trigger far faster than the rest of the country. Three times as quickly, in fact.

The gap between the capital and the rest of Britain has never been so wide. That point was underlined by yesterday's nationwide Markit/CIPS Construction Purchasing Managers' Index. It fell to 49.3 last month from 50.9 in October, the lowest headline figure since August and below the 50 mark separating growth from contraction. This was for the third time in four months.

The City's advocates would say that's a very good reason to cosset the City: it is protecting the rest of the country from looking like Portugal. Or Poland.

Others might argue that the reverse is true; the rest of the rest of the country might stand more of a chance of pulling itself back up if the City wasn't there, or at least if it were less dominant. They may have a point.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

SThree: Experienced Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £40000 per annum + OTE + Incentives + Benefits: SThree: Established f...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE 40/45k + INCENTIVES + BENEFITS: SThree: The su...

Recruitment Genius: Collections Agent

£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company was established in...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE 40k: SThree: SThree are a global FTSE 250 busi...

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones