According to a survey, the number of EU residents looking for work in the UK has decreased by more than a third since Brexit, exposing the impact on UK firms who are struggling to find workers.
According to data from the jobs website Indeed, EU-based job searchers searching for work in the UK decreased by 36% in May compared to the same month last year. Low-wage positions in the restaurant industry, the care sector, and warehouses all saw a 41% drop.
Beyond the aftermath of the Covid-19 outbreak, harsher post-Brexit immigration laws are having a specific impact; the dramatic drop in interest among EU jobseekers was not duplicated in other nations.
Clicks on job ads from non-EU countries declined by barely 1%, while searches from Ireland, whose people retain the ability to live and work in the UK following Brexit, fell by a similar percentage.
Business leaders have warned that a shortage of foreign employees may stymie the UK’s economic recovery from Covid-19, perhaps leading to increased pricing for products and services as companies compete for new hires by offering high wages.
Official labor market numbers have yet to reveal a considerably greater pace of wage increase in 2021 than typical, but employers in some industries believe the lack of EU migrants is forcing them to raise pay to recruit British workers in their place, according to government-backed studies.
JD Wetherspoon’s pro-Brexit boss Tim Martin has urged the government to create a visa scheme for EU workers to assist pubs and restaurants hire more workers.
Since late 2019, an estimated 1.3 million non-UK employees have fled the UK, with many returning to their native countries to see out the pandemic. Some overseas workers are still deterred by ongoing travel restrictions and the risk of public health but Indeed claims that Brexit has also had an impact.
Non-EU job seeker interest was increasing, particularly by Commonwealth countries such as India and the former British colony of Hong Kong, but not enough to offset declining EU interest. Employers in higher-paying fields like technology, research, and engineering were able to compensate for dwindling EU job seeker interest by hiring people from other countries. However, foreign workers are not as interested in lower-paying jobs as they were only two years ago. It may be necessary to hire domestic employees to fill in the gaps.
However, given how difficult it is for many industries, particularly hospitality, to find all of the workers they require, greater salaries may be required to entice UK workers to fill those positions.