North America emerges as location where most expats want to work

by Ray Clancy on January 5, 2018

North America tops the latest global rankings as the best region to work with the United States top and Canada coming second.

The UK has dropped from second place to third in the rankings for the best country to relocate and Australia is in fourth place.

Canada United States Flags

(By FabrikaSimf/

When it comes to the best place for European employees the United States is also top, followed by Germany, Switzerland, Australia, Canada and Spain. The UK has dropped out of the top six.

The rankings report from accountancy and advisory firm BDO says the UK being a less desirable place for Europeans to work may be due to Brexit. Back in 2012 it was the second most popular place to relocate.

The survey asked over 10,000 people in 20 countries to pick their top three destinations to work. Canada was up 2% to 22% compared to the UK which has fallen by 3% to 19% and is now on level pegging with Australia.

The United States holds the top spot as the most desired country to relocate to despite suffering a 4% drop in the last five years.

The research found that geography, common language, culture and business practices often exert a significant influence on where employees are most likely to relocate to.

Europeans most prefer the United States as a work destination despite a drop of 5% in the last five years to 24%.

Overall some 18% of employees said they’d be very likely to relocate for up to two years and take a full time job in another country without any incentives beyond an increase in pay. But this group has shrunk considerably over the past five years from 25% in 2012.

‘UK businesses are already struggling with a skills shortage. The impact of the European Union referendum and uncertainty around a new trade deal is likely to make this worse,’ said Paul Eagland, Managing Partner at BDO.

‘It’s absolutely imperative that the Government makes it clear to the world that the UK is still a great place to do business and that we continue to attract the world’s brightest and best to our country,’ he added.

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