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Brexit Has Launched a New British Invasion of Job Seekers

July 11, 2016, 3:00 PM UTC
Brexit UK EU referendum concept with flag and handwriting text
Brexit UK EU referendum concept with flag and handwriting text in, out, leave, remain is written in chalkboard, close up
Photograph by Getty Images/iStockphoto

With some economists predicting the U.K.’s likely exit from the EU will kick off a recession there, some Brits are taking no chances. They’re getting ready to move abroad. reports that British candidates searching its job site for U.S. jobs soared 170% following the Brexit announcement on June 24.

There’s nothing particularly new about citizens of the U.K. looking for work on this side of the pond, or vice versa, but Tara Sinclair, Indeed’s chief economist, notes that the current surge in volume is a potential hiring boon for U.S. employers. “Many of these workers have the skills and education to enter fields such as technology and health care,” she says. And both of those fields are struggling with talent shortages.


Some job seekers are looking to the very countries of the EU that Britain will be leaving, observes Mariano Mamertino, an Indeed economist who watches the European job market. “Cities like Dublin and Berlin are quickly becoming talent magnets,” he says, “offering a good quality of life and, crucially, a lower cost of living than cities like London.”

Still, the U.S. is Britons’ Number One destination, according to Indeed’s data, with 30% of total would-be emigrants. Canada comes in at a distant second, with 13%, followed by Ireland (9%), Australia (6%), United Arab Emirates (6%), and France (5%).