Greek debt crisis: Referendum spurs Greek job hunters to search abroad... and the UK is a favourite

Lynsey Barber
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Greeks are looking further afield for jobs (Source: Getty)

The prospect of a Grexit has caused a massive spike in the number of people looking for work outside of Greece, particularly among highly skilled workers.

The country experienced a surge in citizens searching for jobs abroad as its debt crisis deepened and the referendum was announced, data from job website Indeed reveals.

The share of job searches outside of Greece rocketed to 37 per cent following Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras's surprise referendum announcement on 27 June - more than double the average which has fluctuated between 10 per cent and 16 per cent since 2011.

"It's not good news for Greece," said economic research analysts at Indeed, Mariano Mamertino. "If the situation doesn't change it might have a long lasting effect. It's quite dramatic, but might be good for the UK if they follow up on their intentions."

Job hunters' searches were directed towards more stable countries outside Greece, with the UK topping the list, while political foe Germany also ranked highly.

Where are Greeks searching for jobs?








Workers are looking for high-skilled jobs such as dentist, engineer and even economist, compared to just a year ago when seven in 10 job searches abroad were dominated by low-skilled jobs such as waiter, assistant and driver.

What jobs are Greeks searching for abroad?


Civil Eingeineer

Graphic Designer

Financial sector


Keywords related to highly technicial roles (eg. SQL Oracle) 

“The debt crisis is discouraging people from all over from looking for jobs in Greece,” said Indeed's chief economist Tara Sinclair. Overall job queries on the jobs website have fallen 36 per cent in the first quarter of the year, compared to 2013.

“Once Greece resolves its future we would hope to see people come back to the country’s labour market. With unemployment running above 26 per cent in Greece and continuing uncertainty about the future of the Greek economy, many people who would like to work in Greece are either waiting to see some certainty around the future, or are applying for work in other countries,” said Sinclair.

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