Job seekers in the UK went online to look for employment overseas in large numbers in the aftermath of the referendum result in the country voting to leave the European Union.

Data from global job search engine Indeed shows a post Brexit spike and an analysis suggests that those looking to move abroad favour Ireland, possibly because it is not far from the UK and English speaking.

Dublin Night
From the announcement of the result on the morning of Friday 24 June, job searches out of the UK doubled as a share of those searching.

The UK’s loss could be Ireland’s gain, as it tops the league of countries UK jobseekers are searching for work in. Job search for roles in Ireland rose by more than double. Job search traffic also increased from EU countries to Ireland, at the expense of usual EU to UK job search traffic.

The top searches from the UK to Ireland were for sectors including marketing, HR, engineering, transport and retail. Searches by UK job seekers to other European countries also include roles in the hospitality and finance sectors.

The firm says that there is a striking resemblance in this trend compared to 2015’s Greek referendum when the share of Greek jobseekers looking for opportunity outside of Greece also doubled in the days following the announcement of a referendum on the European Union’s proposed bailout package in July 2015.

‘Last week the majority of British citizens voted to exit the European Union, but quickly thereafter many UK based job seekers started a vote of their own as they jumped online to look for work elsewhere,’ said Mariano Mamertino, economist for EMEA at the job site Indeed.

‘Using Indeed data, we see the share of job seekers looking for opportunities outside of the UK in European countries doubling in the 48 hours that followed the announcement of a Brexit,’ he explained.

He also pointed out that most job seekers looked to the very countries of the European Union that Britain will be leaving, with Ireland attracting the most searches. But job searches didn’t just stay in Europe, as UK based job search rose 73% for the rest of the world too, to countries like the US and Australia.

‘We see a striking resemblance in post-Brexit job search patterns with those following the Greek referendum in 2015. The share of job seekers looking for opportunities outside of the UK in European countries doubled in the 48 hours that followed the announcement of a Brexit, just as it did for Greece,’ Mamertino pointed out.

‘These could be early signs of British job seekers’ collective vote of no confidence. Given how close the EU referendum vote results were, this is perhaps unsurprising. UK employers’ loss is Ireland’s gain, with a significant spike of inbound searches from the EU countries,’ he added.

Overall the firm has found that cities like Dublin and Berlin are increasingly becoming talent magnet cities to EU jobseekers, attracting attention on account of being in great locations, offering a good quality of life, and crucially a lower cost of living when compared to cities like London.

‘UK employers have historically benefitted from the ability to recruit talent from overseas, and many Britons have seized the opportunity to live and work in other EU countries. While it’s unlikely that the shutters will suddenly be brought down on the English Channel, the free movement of workers has clear economic benefits and it’s essential that British businesses can continue to be able to get the people they need to fill the jobs available,’ Mamertino said.

‘What is clear from this data, is that if Brexit is allowed to interrupt the flow of talent to the UK, Britain’s loss will be Ireland’s gain if skilled workers are lured by its dynamic and English speaking labour market,’ he concluded.