Britons started looking for overseas jobs as soon as the Brexit vote result came out

Francesca Washtell
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While Ireland topped the list of job search queries, Britons also looked into moving to Australia (Source: Getty)

Wanderlust workers pondering the UK's pro-Brexit vote caused a spike in overseas job searches in the immediate aftermath of the referendum last week.

From the announcement of the pro-Brexit referendum result on Friday morning, searches out of the UK doubled as a share of those looking, according to global job hub Indeed.

"Last week the majority of British citizens voted to exit the European Union, but quickly thereafter many UK-based jobseekers started a vote of their own: they jumped online to look for work elsewhere," Mariano Mamertino, economist for Europe, Middle East and Africa at Indeed, said.

"Most jobseekers looked to the very countries of the European Union that Britain will be leaving, with Ireland attracting the most searches. But job searches didn’t just stay in Europe, as UK-based job searches rose 73 per cent for the rest of the world too, to countries like the US and Australia."

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Ireland topped the league of countries UK jobseekers were hunting for work in, rising by more than double, while it also gained an increased share of search traffic from other EU countries that would usually have gone to the UK.

Searches for career opportunities in marketing, human resources, engineering, transport and retail led the UK to Ireland queries.

The job search spike bore a "striking resemblance" to the trend observed after the July 2015 Greek referendum, when the share of Greek jobseekers looking for opportunities outside of Greece also doubled in the days following the announcement of the referendum on the EU's proposed bailout package.

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"UK employers have historically benefitted from the ability to recruit talent from overseas, and many Britons have seized the opportunity to live and work in other EU countries," Mamertino added.

"While it’s unlikely that the shutters will suddenly be brought down on the English Channel, the free movement of workers has clear economic benefits - and it’s essential that British businesses can continue to be able to get the people they need to fill the jobs available.

"What is clear from this data, is that if Brexit is allowed to interrupt the flow of talent to the UK, Britain’s loss will be Ireland’s gain if skilled workers are lured by its dynamic and English-speaking labour market."

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