Amount of EU workers seeking jobs in UK has almost halved since 2016

Job interest from Europeans began to decline after the Brexit referendum in 2016.

The amount of EU workers looking for jobs in the UK has reduced by almost half since the Brexit referendum, new research suggests.

Research undertaken by job site Indeed shows that job searches for EU workers is down by 45%, with interest falling most in lower-paid jobs in hospitality and retail.

There has also been a decline in Europeans’ interest in higher-paid jobs, although it has been offset by demand from non-EU countries, said the report.

The Government’s new immigration regime aims to prioritise those with the highest skills but in practice it is also making it harder to recruit foreign workers for most lower-paid jobs, said Indeed.

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Jack Kennedy, UK economist at Indeed, said: “As the UK’s economy reopens and job postings rebound to pre-pandemic levels, two distinct pictures are emerging for employers looking to hire talent from abroad.

“On the one hand, employers offering higher salaries, particularly in sectors such as tech, science and engineering, may have no trouble replacing EU workers, as jobseekers from the rest of the world are showing a keen and increasing interest in those roles.

“But lower-paid roles are not receiving the same attention from foreign workers as they did only two years ago.

“It means domestic workers may be required to fill the gaps.

“However, with many sectors, including hospitality, already struggling to recruit all the staff they need, higher salaries may be required to attract UK workers to fill those roles.”