Blows from Brexit: A Jobs Market Summary

21st March 2016
European Union

Since Boris Johnson made waves with his views about Britain’s participation in the EU, thoughts and fears around Brexit - a British exit from the EU - have been rife. Brexit would affect the job market, and many of the reports have been with regard to anticipated changes employers and workers might expect should the UK decide to leave. We’ve got a summary of the main news stories around a Brexit and employment below.

EU Interest in the UK Job Market Increases

Firstly, a number of pieces by some of our favourite recruitment bloggers have spoken about increased interest from the EU in the UK job market as a result of all the Brexit noise.

One interesting finding was from CV-Library. Their web analytics have shown that web visits from EU workers has risen sharply following Brexit uncertainty. The months compared were February 2015 and February 2016, and although there may well be other contributing reasons for the change, the data spiked in particular when comparing the two weeks when the referendum was initially announced. Traffic increases in February 2016 as reported in RecruitmentBuzz included 109.2% in Belgium, 69.9% in Croatia and 68.3% in Greece when compared to the same month in the previous year.

How Leaving the EU Could Cause Job Market Harm

In contrast to a flurry of positive interest in the UK job market from other countries in the EU, another piece by news outlet Evening Standard has taken a more generalist and bleak view of the job market under Brexit’s influence. They state that because many employers rely on the free movement of people inside Europe, our current wave of high employment could be in jeopardy by all the uncertainty. You can read the full quote and story here.

A Subjective View of Current Statistics

An additional piece by the Plymouth Herald estimated that Brexit could reign in employment ambitions for many, and that this might already be in play. Additionally, with high demand for EU language speakers, it supports The Evening Standard’s view that UK job market could experience a downturn.

The Herald said:

“Business expansions and hiring sprees are being put on hold. EU languages are still in high demand throughout the UK and whichever road the referendum takes us down, this is sure to remain so.” Read the full story here.

What We Think

As with any major change, there will be economical ramifications. The referendum is on 23rd June, and with uncertainty being the enemy of the stock-market which is a precursor to many business and subsequently, recruitment decisions, we expect more uncertainty in the jobs market until a decision is reached.

"employers rely on the free movement of people inside Europe"