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

Guru Careers: Account Manager / Membership Manager

£35 - 38k + Benefits & Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Account Manager ...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: At SThree, we like to be differe...

Guru Careers: Associate Director

£50 - 80k: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Associate Director for the Markets ...

Guru Careers: Associate Director / Director of Sound Practices

£60 - 100k: Guru Careers: Our client is looking for an Associate Director of S...

Day In a Page

Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
10 best sun creams for kids

10 best sun creams for kids

Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
Tate Sensorium: New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art

Tate Sensorium

New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art
Ashes 2015: Nice guy Steven Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

Nice guy Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

He was man-of-the-match in the third Test following his recall to the England side
Ashes 2015: Remember Ashton Agar? The No 11 that nearly toppled England

Remember Ashton Agar?

The No 11 that nearly toppled England
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks