Britain is still the most popular nation for European job seekers despite Brexit

by Ray Clancy on January 26, 2018

The UK is still the most popular country for European jobseekers with a third still wanting to work in the country, but fewer are searching for jobs, probably due to uncertainty over Brexit.

No one wants to start a brilliant new job and then find that after Brexit at the end of March 2019 the conditions in which they can stay in the UK have changed.

(melis/Bigstock.com)

Even so a survey of job seekers from 15 European Union countries found that London is the top destination for a new job, but Germany, Luxembourg and Ireland are increasingly popular.

The survey from job site Indeed which looked at the online search patterns of millions of jobseekers found that the share of all cross border job searches is down 14.7% since 2015.

Despite the fall, the UK remains the most popular choice for Europeans searching for a job abroad, attracting 31.8% all interest in the first nine months of 2017, with Germany in second place with searches up 19.3%, Ireland up 33.6% and Luxembourg up by 56%.

‘Britain’s dynamic labour market has made it a poster boy for ambitious Europeans keen to progress their career. The Brexit vote hasn’t stopped that attractiveness in its tracks but it is clearly giving many European jobseekers pause for thought,’ said Mariano Mamertino, economist for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, at jobs company Indeed which carried out the survey.

‘So while the UK is still the most popular destination among Europeans looking to work abroad, its lead is shrinking fast. Britain’s loss could be its rivals’ gain and Germany, Luxembourg and Ireland are all attracting a greater share of the interest from upwardly mobile EU citizens,’ he added.

The research also shows that there has also been a shift in the pattern of British people hunting for jobs abroad. Traditionally, they have tended to look towards English speaking countries such as the United States, Australia or Canada, but since 2015 there has been a 15.4% increase in those searching for work in the EU.

‘One more surprising aspect of the Brexit effect is the apparent outbreak of itchy feet among British jobseekers. Britain remains a net importer of talent from the EU, but the surge of interest in European roles among UK based job seekers suggests the cross Channel traffic is no longer just a one way street,’ Mamertino pointed out.

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