Ireland beneficiary of a resurgent Brexodus as the number of UK workers seeking jobs continues to rise

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Ireland beneficiary of a resurgent Brexodus as the number of UK workers seeking jobs continues to rise

As the Brexit countdown clock ticked past the ‘one year to go’ point, the number of UK workers planning a move to the EU returned to its post-referendum high, according to new data from Indeed, the world’s largest job site. Ireland is the largest beneficiary of this trend, attracting 21.4% of searches, followed by France with 17.5%, Spain with 12.8% of searches, Germany with 11.7% and Italy 8.2%.

In the immediate aftermath of the referendum result on June 24, 2016, the number of UK jobseekers looking for roles in other EU countries soared, as thousands of Britons explored their options following the Leave campaign’s surprise victory. While the spike seen in the days following the 2016 referendum quickly subsided, the steady increases seen in 2017 and 2018 hint at a more significant, sustained trend.

With the UK due to leave the EU in March 2019, the first quarter of 2018 saw British searches for jobs in the EU climb again, rekindling fears of a ‘Brexodus’ of talented workers to other EU member states. Searches for jobs outside the UK have reached a level 15.2% higher than that recorded in the pre-referendum first quarter of 2016.

Tara Sinclair, economist and senior fellow at Indeed, comments: “Brexit has dominated the EU landscape and also the relationship between the UK and Ireland for two years and this is also reflected in the labour market. Proximity plays a role, and it makes sense that we are seeing the UK’s nearest neighbour and fellow English language-speaking member state attract the largest share of jobseekers.

“A ‘Brexodus’ is once again a very real possibility. While the initial spike in Britons’ searches for EU jobs might be dismissed as a knee-jerk reaction - inspired by either curiosity or panic - 2018’s steady and sustained return to those levels suggests more Britons are thinking more seriously about a move to elsewhere in the EU.

“Job search patterns give us a strong indication of workers’ future movements - making them especially helpful in these uncertain pre-Brexit times.”


Meanwhile, research by Indeed’s labour market research institute Hiring Lab has been published by the Institute for International Economic Policy (IIEP).

The working paper Migration and Online Job Search: a Gravity Model Approach explores the role EU membership plays in job searches, concluding that “leaving the EU may have international immigration impacts’’ similar to increasing the distance between Britain and other EU countries “by over one third.” While the specific effects on the UK’s workforce will depend on what type of Brexit is finally settled upon, the analysis, which includes Norway and Canada as non-EU countries, suggests that leaving the EU will have a long-term impact on the UK’s supply of labour.

Sinclair continued: “What our jobseeker figures, combined with our research for the IIEP, strongly suggest is that there could be a lot of movement out of the UK in the next year, with every indication that Brexit will have long-term implications on the UK labour supply.”

Article Published: 26/04/2018