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17 June 2021updated 31 Aug 2021 5:26am

How Brexit has caused EU interest in UK jobs to plummet

There has been a 36 per cent drop in job searches from EU jobseekers since 2019.

By Michael Goodier

EU jobseekers are less interested in the UK job market since new Brexit immigration rules came into force, with overall searches down by more than a third.

The figures – compiled by the popular jobs website Indeed – show a 36 per cent drop in job searches from EU jobseekers since 2019, with lower paid roles in social care, food and hospitality experiencing a 41 per cent drop in interest.

While the pandemic has undoubtedly played a role in declining job searches, Covid-19 doesn’t seem to be the only factor affecting EU interest. During 2020, EU and non-EU searches fell by 14 per cent and 7 per cent respectively, but since Brexit rules have come into place, the two search trends have diverged, with searches from outside the EU almost returning to 2019 levels.


The trend poses a worrying one for the UK, fuelling concerns of labour shortages. In 2016, EU nationals made up around 15 per cent of workers in the “low-skilled” job category. However, since January, anyone hoping to work in Britain needs to be offered a job that pays at least £25,600 a year (social care workers are exempt from this as an example of a “shortage occupation”).

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