Brexit Impacts Job Seekers from the European Union

The United Kingdom’s (UK) upcoming Brexit impacts the labor market in many ways. As a result, job seekers from the European Union (EU) may be responding to the uncertainty and the upcoming departure from the EU by reducing their search for positions in the UK. Net long-term migration to the UK from the EU fell in July of 2018 to its lowest level in over four years.

Brexit impacts other areas as well, and may be related to persistent weakness in the British pound relative to other European currencies since 2015. Consequently, a weaker UK currency reduces migrant’s purchasing power back in their home countries.

UK Net Migration Target

The UK government had set a target in 2010 to reduce net migration, however that target has never been met. Part of the failure was due to migration into the UK from countries located outside the EU, including (in alphabetical order):

  • Australia
  • Bangladesh
  • Canada
  • India
  • Jamaica
  • Kenya
  • Pakistan
  • South Africa
  • United States

How Brexit impacts job seekers may actually help the UK government reduce net migration into the country. The reduction, however, could have negative impacts in other areas.

Impact of Net Migration Reduction on Industry

The various ways that Brexit impacts job seekers may disproportionately affect certain industries in the UK. As a result, construction and health care are most at risk as job seekers reduce their willingness to migrate to the UK. These two industries rely heavily on migrants to fill open positions. The UK’s strong economy as well as its changing demographics had been driving up demand for workers in these two industries. Additionally, changing economic conditions in migrant’s home countries such as Romania, Poland, and Ireland may allow them greater opportunities to remain in their country of origin. These changing economies may allow them to find jobs that offer sufficient pay and benefits for their needs.

What Should Employers Expect?

Employers seeking to fill positions in the UK should expect that Brexit impacts job seekers from the EU. They should also expect that they may need to review their talent recruitment program to attract job seekers from other regions as the global economy dynamically changes where migrants seek new jobs.

What Should Employers do?

Employers in the UK finding difficulties in hiring and recruiting for positions in specific industries should consider highlighting their relocation program’s benefits in their recruiting materials. Talent shortages can be mitigated with global relocation. Helpful tips for employers facing talent shortages include:

  1. Provide an Exceptional Candidate Experience
  2. Use Data to Enhance Recruiting Efforts
  3. Recruit for Cultural Fit to Your Organization
  4. Create a Superior Employer Brand
  5. Speed the Process to Keep Candidates Engaged

Relocation Management Companies (RMCs) can provide expert assistance to employers in the UK looking to enhance their company’s global candidate recruitment and relocation.


Global Mobility Solutions’ team of global relocation experts has helped thousands of our clients with their talent recruitment programs. As a result, we can help your company understand how Brexit impacts your company’s talent recruitment processes. We can also help your company leverage its relocation program to attract and retain highly skilled and talented job seekers.

Learn how your company can benefit from highlighting your relocation program to job seekers from Global Mobility Solutions, the relocation industry and technology experts who are dedicated to keeping you informed and connected. Contact our experts online or give us a call at 800.617.1904 or 480.922.0700 today.

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