Leaving the UK

Professionals increasingly leaving UK for EU, finds new data from LinkedIn.

Data from LinkedIn has shown the migration of professionals from the EU to the UK over the last 12 months (March 16 2020 to March 16 2021) was net negative and is a trend that is accelerating. Over the same period, net non-EU migration into the UK was positive and steady.

LinkedIn’s UK Workforce Report shows that Germany represented the biggest net migration loss from the UK over the period, followed by France, Spain, Switzerland and The Netherlands respectively. Using January 2020 as a baseline for comparison, countries that were net migration gains for the UK in January 2020 such as Italy, Greece and Hungary have flipped into net migration losses over the course of the last year.

“LinkedIn’s data provides a unique and real-time snapshot into how the UK workforce is changing,” says Mariano Mamertino, senior economist, EMEA at LinkedIn. “When it comes to migration, we’re seeing two diverging trends: net migration losses for the UK with the rest of the EU, and net migration gains for the UK with non-EU countries. After an eventful and unprecedented last 12 months, including the shock of the pandemic and the UK’s exit from the EU, our report suggests these trends are accelerating. This latest analysis also suggests that we’re currently witnessing a new wave of employees moving from non-EU countries and entering almost every industry sector in the UK. In particular, the Software & IT sector has seen the largest gain in workers who moved from non-EU countries as businesses across the UK have had to grapple with rapid digitalisation, brought about by the pandemic.”

Adam Hawkins, head of search & staffing EMEA at LinkedIn, said: “The past year has ignited a shift in the way we work, and how companies and recruiters look for talent. Companies that have been able to adapt to remote working are seeing the benefits, and with employees eager for greater flexibility in the future, leaders are looking to make this a permanent offering. By doing so, businesses have the opportunity to expand their talent pools as the traditional interdependencies between location and role are no longer as relevant, and benefit from greater diversity of talent. LinkedIn’s data also highlights other external influences, such as the UK leaving the EU, which has resulted in a shift in new workers entering the labour market who offer companies a breadth of new skills and experience.”

The data also reveals a big shift in US-UK migration. In January 2020, more people moved from the UK to the US than the other way around. This trend has reversed over the last 12 months, with the US representing the fourth highest net gain for UK migration, just behind India, Nigeria and South Africa.

An analysis of different industries shows that in the last year there were net UK-EU migration losses across the board, while the opposite is true for non-EU countries. The Software and IT sector saw the largest gain in workers from non-EU countries.

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