Searches for foreign jobs surged 25% immediately after last week’s General Election exit poll was published, according to new data from the world’s largest job site, Indeed.
The Conservative Party was swept to power with its largest majority since 1987 in a result that almost certainly means that the UK will leave the EU on 31 January 2020. As the events on the night unfolded and the political picture became clearer an elevated number of jobseekers started looking for jobs abroad.
Searches for foreign jobs on Indeed surged immediately after exit poll results were published at 10pm on Thursday evening. On Friday, 13th December, as jobseekers digested the final election results, searches for jobs outside the UK were 25% higher than on the prior Friday, calculated as a share of all searches by Indeed users with a UK IP address.
The destination countries that saw the biggest increase in job searches between Friday the 6th and Friday the 13th were: Canada (111%), Ireland (44%), Italy (32%), Germany (28%), Australia (20%) and Poland (20%). Searches for jobs abroad peaked at approximately 4am when the Conservatives were on course to securing their overall majority.The findings suggest jobseeker behaviour can be quickly influenced by political events. A previous study by Indeed showed UK-based jobseekers immediately looked for work abroad after the EU referendum result in 2016. Searches from the UK to the rest of the world were 73% higher at their peak on 24 June – the day after the vote – than the average in the days before the results were announced.
Pawel Adrjan, economist at global job site Indeed said, “It seems UK-based jobseekers were paying close attention to the election result not just for news about their local candidates but to help inform career choices, too.
“The surge in searches for jobs abroad is a significant one and follows a pattern of jumps in jobseeker interest in working abroad after political events. Our data also showed elevated searches for jobs abroad following the referendum result, triggering Article 50 and now seemingly edging closer to leaving the European Union.
“Interestingly, the countries that saw the biggest increases were Canada and Ireland, English-speaking countries with strong ties to the UK. However, there were also large rises in searches for jobs in other European countries which suggests foreign workers in the UK could be looking to work on the continent or could be returning home.
“These non-UK citizens could also be concerned about their immigration status after the Brexit transition period due to end in December 2020. Overall, these trends are concerning for public and private-sector employers struggling to find hires in today’s tight labour market.”