LinkedIn study shows UK losing workers to EU

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The UK became an exporter of workers during the first three months of this year, according to an analysis of users on the social network LinkedIn. More workers moved from the UK to other EU countries during the first quarter of the year than arrived from elsewhere in the trade bloc, the analysis showed, with inflows from other countries unable to offset the outflow to the EU. LinkedIn anonymises and aggregates the information from its users’ profiles to provide a snapshot of how workers are moving between jobs every month. The company has self-reported data on where its users work, but not their nationality. In the first quarter of 2018, a net 1.04 out of every 10,000 LinkedIn members in the UK moved from the country to the EU. This compares to a net rate of 2.32 moving to the UK in the final quarter of 2017, and a rate of 13.57 moving to the UK in the three months before the EU referendum. “Changes in migration take a long time to bear out,” said Josh Graff, UK country manager at LinkedIn. “But we can see that the UK has gone from being a country that gains workers from the EU nations, to one that loses them to it.” LinkedIn’s latest report demonstrates how the 2016 Brexit vote has, for some workers, made the UK a less attractive workplace compared to its neighbours. The trend may be attributable, in part, to a cheaper currency. Recommended Carolyn Fairbairn Windrush immigration cases contain a warning for Brexit “Our economy is growing more slowly than it was and many European economies are growing faster than us,” said John Hawksworth chief UK economist at PwC. “In that sense we’re less attractive.” For some parts of the UK economy that have become dependent on migrant workers, such as hospitality and construction, this might be a problem in the short term, he said, though in the long run, companies may invest in training or technology to prevent future losses. The LinkedIn data also picked up a drop in migration to the UK from non-EU countries, which fell by 20 per cent in the first quarter of 2018, compared to the same period in 2017. “These are not people anticipating any new visa rules,” Mr Graff said. “The perception that the UK is a good place to advance your career appears to have faltered.” The overall hiring rate, based on LinkedIn figures, was up by 6 per cent in March, compared to the same month in the previous year. The social network measures the rate based on the proportion of its members changing their employer on their profile. The latest official net migration figures, published in February, showed that 244,000 people moved to the UK in the year to September, up from 230,000 in the year to June. The official figures include students and anyone moving to live with their family, as well as workers.

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