Expat job seekers put off the UK and the US due to political and economic uncertainty

by Ray Clancy on May 30, 2017

Expat job seekers are shunning the UK and the United States and looking to Australia, Canada and Asia, probably due to political and economic uncertainty, new research suggests.

With the UK in the process of leaving the European Union and no clear indication yet on what this will mean for the rights of expats, fewer people are looking for jobs in the country, according to research from US based global recruiters Indeed.

(cbies/Bigstock.com)

Likewise, in the United States there is concern about President Donald Trump’s immigration policy. But while more people are looking for jobs in Australia, a recent tightening of short term visas could also affect demand.

The data shows that in the four months to the end of April there was a 30% increase in the overall number of overseas job seekers looking for roles in Australia compared with the same period last year.

There was a 79.8% fall in numbers looking for jobs from the Philippines year on year, a 55.3% fall from India and a 21.6% fall from people in South Africa. But demand for jobs from overseas is still strong in a number of high-skilled professions where the interest is greater than from those in Australia, engineering, medicine, nursing, dentistry and finance.

However, Australia is making it harder for overseas skilled workers to get short term visas. The 457 visa, which allowed work for up to four years, is being abolished with the Government pledging to make sure that Australian workers have priority for Australian jobs.

According to Chris McDonald, managing director of Australia and New Zealand for Indeed, said it will be interesting to see whether the tightening of Australia’s visa programmes has an impact on international job seekers.

Indeed found that there was a 13% increase in UK financial services workers looking at job options in Australia in the first quarter of 2017, compared to the same three months in 2016 and suggested that this could be due to the decision to leave the EU.

The Indeed report says that the world’s best and most talented people in areas like science and technology look to where there is both opportunity and policy settings conducive to the attraction of international skills.

It believes that if barriers are put in the way of overseas recruitment, including tighter visa arrangements, highly skilled workers will shift their focus to other countries where the recruitment market is more competitive.

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