So far, Brexit has been a case of mixed feelings and bittersweet sentiments for different people, depending on where you stand.
When the result of the EU referendum was announced in June 2016, many Britons rejoiced, while a good number were sceptical about the economic implications. Today, it appears that any scepticism is justified.
Among the many repercussions Brexit has brought the UK, a recent poll revealed that it is losing talent via the number of professionals who usually flock there. A LinkedIn survey put this decline at 37% – the single largest decrease across all EU states.
According to LinkedIn’s April Workforce Report, the UK has been steadily losing talent to countries in the EU. The professional networking platform made this announcement based on a study of its 24 million UK members.
Data from the Workforce Report of April 2018 revealed that the decline in professional migration from the European Union is evident across 27 EU countries. This includes EU 15; member states of the union prior to its enlargement in 2004. LinkedIn attributed the 37% decline from Ireland to the Brexit vote; a figure at its highest since the penultimate quarter of 2016.
Why the decline?
Although Irish people can still live and work in the UK after its total exit from the EU, due to the Common Travel Area law, Irish professionals are opting to remain at home for various reasons.
Besides Brexit, the Irish Economy has since strengthened, causing many professionals to shun other opportunities in the UK. Moreover, many sectors of the economy have improved in the last twelve months. For example, 2017 was recorded as the strongest year for new .ie domains, with a whopping 108 names registered daily.
According to a January report, the total number of registered i.e domains by the end of 2017 was 237,412. This represented a 7% increase from the previous year and a 30% increase since 2012. Of all new domains registered last year, 67% were businesses, indicating an increase in the number joining the digital scene.
Robert Rolls, head of online business at Synapse Search Engine Optimisation, states that more and more entrepreneurs are understanding the value of having an online business presence. “Playing in the digital realm doesn’t only increase visibility, but exposes your business to international opportunities. This value is appreciated more when you sell products or services in countries with stronger currencies,” Robert concludes.
However, the tech industry is not the only thing booming in Ireland. Retail and agriculture are equally promising sectors. The overall Irish economy is generating over 1000 full-time jobs every week. People are generally shifting from contract-based jobs to more permanent ones. It’s believed that by the end of 2018, unemployment levels will drop to 5% – a figure not recorded since over a decade ago.
Comparative results between the UK and other countries
In the first quarter of the year, just under 25% of every 100,000 LinkedIn members in the UK came from the European Union to work, compared with 26% leaving in the opposite direction.
This trend is also evident when the study includes other countries across the world. For instance, there are 67% heading to the UK and 68% leaving to work in other countries. Based on a report that interviewed numerous eRecruiters, 28% say that the UK is no longer an attractive place for global candidates looking for work.
According to the same recruiters, the worst hit sector (by Brexit) is healthcare, with up to 13% affected, while manufacturing, construction, education and finance follow closely with 11%.
What does this mean for both countries?
Sharon McCooey, Head of LinkedIn Ireland, said the change was noticed last year when the migration flow between both countries (UK and Ireland) reversed.
“Given these new insights, it’s possible to review the level of change. The significant drop in the number of Irish expats coming to the UK likely indicates two things; Brexit concerns among citizens and the steady growth of Ireland’s economy,” Ms. McCooey said.
The latter corroborates the fact that attractive job opportunities are being created in Ireland, which are retaining home-based experts and attracting foreign professionals from around the world. The current legislative climate also provides a favourable work environment for business professionals, as the government is planning to increase its spending on public projects, as well as introduce tax reforms and a 30 cent an hour increase in minimum wage.
These results will impact the UK in no small measure if the trend continues across EU member states over a prolonged period. However, for Irish professionals, the future is looking very bright.