Irish jobs attracting more EU interest since Brexit

Research from jobs website Indeed shows a decline in interest in UK-based jobs

There has been an increased interest in Irish jobs from people in other EU countries, indicating a potential shift away from interest in working in the UK post-Brexit, according to new research from job site Indeed.

The data shows an increased interest in roles in Ireland in areas like media, pharmacy and the social sciences, but a decline for the UK.

Many of these are roles where jobseekers could find it harder to obtain work visas under the UK’s new immigration regime, which ends freedom of movement and requires applicants to meet certain skill and salary thresholds.

Since the start of 2021, there has been increased EU interest in media and communications jobs in Ireland.


The share of clicks on jobs in this category from jobseekers located in the rest of the EU has risen by 3.4 per cent compared with the same period one year ago.

By contrast, the UK has seen a slight decline (-0.2 per cent). Media and communications includes roles such as content moderators, speakers and digital designers.

Social science jobs have also seen higher EU interest (+1.6 per cent), a category which includes linguist, archivist and psychologist jobs.

There have also been uplifts for beauty and wellness, arts and entertainment, pharmacy, sales, sports, childcare, food preparation and service, and real estate jobs.

Analysis of cross-border search patterns indicates that Ireland has retained its attractiveness to EU jobseekers at a time when the UK is seeing waning interest.

Ireland attracted 1.8 per cent of all cross-border searches by EU jobseekers, the same proportion as in the same period over the past four years.

Notably lower

By contrast, the UK has seen its share of cross-border searches from the EU decline from 18 per cent to 13 per cent, notably lower than in recent years.

In terms of job recovery, the UK lags behind Ireland. Overall job postings on Indeed’s UK site remain 36 per cent down on February 1st’s pre-pandemic baseline, compared to Ireland’s 24 per cent.

However this may change as the UK rollout of the vaccine is ahead of Ireland, which may lead to a quicker recovery in the coming months if the economy reopens sooner.

Indeed economist Jack Kennedy said: “Brexit was a somewhat overlooked event in an extremely tumultuous year, although it has potential to have even longer lasting effects on the Irish labour market.

“With the UK’s migration policy pivoting post-Brexit, Ireland may stand to benefit. Sectors like media and communications, linguistics, the arts and beauty and wellness are seeing rising interest from EU jobseekers who may have previously been drawn to the UK.

“Looking at the hoped for recovery and jobs market post-Covid, data shows job postings in Ireland down less than the UK compared to a year ago. However the faster pace of the UK vaccination programme may see its labour market recover quicker in the coming months.”

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson

Colin Gleeson is an Irish Times reporter