Over the past year, the United Kingdom has witnessed a notable rise in job search activity from international candidates. This trend can be attributed in part to the easing of work visa regulations for non-European Union nationals following the post-Brexit period, as indicated by data from the Indeed job search platform released.
In June, a historic 5.5% of job searches for positions in the UK on Indeed’s website originated from prospective candidates located outside the country. This marks an increase from 4.4% during the previous year and surpasses the average of 3.6% recorded between 2017 and 2019.
According to Pawel Adrjan, who holds the position of Director of Research for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa at Indeed, the uptick in numbers reflects a rising attraction among non-EU candidates for more advanced positions such as software development. This shift also signifies a departure from the lower-skilled roles that were typically occupied by European workers prior to Britain’s departure from the EU in January 2020. Adrjan noted:
“The new immigration policy of the UK government is functioning as intended.”
In June, EU-based job seekers constituted 1.4% of the job searches on Indeed’s UK platform, showing a minor decline from the pre-Brexit period. Meanwhile, interest from non-EU countries has more than doubled, making up 4.1% of the searches. Countries such as India, Nigeria, South Africa, and Pakistan emerged as significant sources of these searches.
With wage growth reaching its highest point in over two decades, the Bank of England has directed its attention towards labor shortages. This is occurring even as inflation experienced a recent decline. Following Brexit, the UK government gradually eliminated the unrestricted work migration rights of most EU nationals moving to the country.
Nevertheless, changes were made to visa regulations, removing the requirement for employers to demonstrate the inability to hire a British or EU worker. This modification applies to positions that offer an annual salary of at least £26,200 ($33,431), slightly below the average yearly wage in the UK, and meet the standard remuneration for that specific job category.
Visa opportunities are available for lower-paid workers in sectors facing severe labor shortages, primarily within healthcare and social care. However, employers in industries like hospitality and lower-paying segments of manufacturing and construction are currently encountering difficulties in recruiting from abroad.
Official estimates indicate that in 2022, Britain experienced an all-time high of 606,000 net migration. Tight labor markets and aging populations have contributed to a resurgence in immigration to developed nations in recent years, as highlighted by Adrjan.
According to Indeed, which boasts 330 million unique visitors each month, Canada and Australia have witnessed a nearly twofold increase in job searches originating from foreign sources since 2019. These searches now account for 10.9% and 17.2% of the total job searches for those countries, respectively.
In contrast, the numbers for individuals seeking jobs overseas and focusing on the United States and the EU remained relatively steady, with figures of 3.4% and 2.7% respectively, as reported by Indeed.
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