Big fall in number of EU workers looking for UK jobs since Brexit referendum

The Lamplighter pub decked out with flags and red, white and blue bunting

The hospitality industry is struggling to fill job vacancies without the support of overseas workers - Credit: PA

Searches from EU workers for jobs in the UK are down by almost half since the Brexit referendum five years ago, new research suggests.

Interest has fallen most in lower-paid jobs in hospitality and retail, according to a study by jobs site Indeed.

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.

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.

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“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.”

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