A 10% loss of financial services jobs in London would represent a rise of one third in Frankfurt finance jobs – which feels like too many for the German city to absorb easily.
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In considering the risk that London may shed financial services jobs as a result of Brexit, we do need to consider whether any alternative EU city has the capacity to absorb the jobs that London loses. A simple comparison of the scale of financial sectors says ‘no’. But that ignores three things: that broader office-based employment in European cities suggests that they have more scale than is often assumed; that jobs may possibly split between cities (the ‘end of agglomeration’) and that artificial intelligence means that the number of jobs that other cities need to absorb may not be nearly as large as the number of jobs that London might potentially lose.