Ireland among top 15 countries for overseas jobseekers, new research shows

Pawel Adrjan

Ireland is the third most attractive country in the EU for international jobseekers  



24 August 2023

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Ireland is ranked among the top 15 countries in the world when it comes to attracting interest from overseas jobseekers, according to a new analysis which also suggests that the EU as a whole is struggling to attract foreign workers.

The research by Indeed, the leading global job site, puts English-speaking Ireland in 14th place in a list of countries ranked in terms of the proportion of job searches from people living overseas. A total of 11.1% of searches for jobs in Ireland in June of this year originated from outside the country.

The analysis examined job search and click data in the 62 countries in which Indeed has job sites. Luxembourg, ranked at number one, and Austria are the only other EU countries in the top 15 on 72.3% and 18.3% respectively. Oman (51.7%) and Switzerland (40.9%) are second and third after Luxembourg. Five of the top 15, including Ireland, are English-speaking.

Indeed’s findings show immigration to developed countries has rebounded significantly post-pandemic, fueled in large part by tight labour markets and long-term demographic trends including ageing populations and shrinking local workforces. Searches from abroad for jobs in the EU as a whole, however, remain well below those for jobs in some of the large English-speaking countries.

In the UK, Canada and Australia, searches from potential workers located abroad have surpassed their June 2019 levels by 69%, 74% and 141%, respectively. In contrast, searches from abroad for jobs in the EU were recorded at just 5% above their June 2019 levels.

The pandemic has had, at most, a transient effect on international worker mobility, according to Indeed’s data. In April 2021, at the height of the pandemic, just 1.5% of all clicks on EU jobs came from searchers outside the EU. That share has almost doubled since, rising to 2.8% as of June – an 82% jump that nevertheless pales in comparison to recent gains in non-EU nations.

In the case of jobs in the UK, which eased its requirements for non-EU workers after Brexit, the share of searches conducted by those living in other countries rose from 2.2% to 5.5% over the same period, a 146% increase. Amongst other western countries, Australia and Canada have also attracted high shares of foreign jobseekers.

Indeed’s research puts Ireland on a 2.6% share of all clicks on overseas jobs by jobseekers in Ukraine. This is ahead of France (1.4%), the UAE (1.2%), Italy (1.2%) and Switzerland (1.1%). The US is the most in-demand country for jobseekers in Ukraine accounting for just over a third of all foreign clicks followed by Canada (25.2%), the UK (15.3%), Germany (9.6%) and the Netherlands (2.7%).

In Ireland, personal care and home health is the leading job category and the one with the most significant growth, up 8.2 percentage points from 2019 and accounting for 9.2% of foreign clicks on Irish jobs in the first half of this year. Cleaning and sanitation’s share of foreign clicks is up 1.5 percentage points to 2.9% while nursing is up 1.1 percentage points to 2.6%.

The majority of clicks on personal care and home health jobs in Ireland come from Nigeria (18.6), South Africa (17.1%) and Zimbabwe (15.4%). For cleaning and sanitation, the majority come from the UK (14.2%), India (12.4%) and Brazil (9.1%).

Occupations with the highest growth in foreign interest since the first half of 2019 include software development, food preparation and service, and personal and care services, with some variation depending on the country. But it is where workers are searching from when they look at jobs abroad that has the most significant differences.

“Our research shows that jobs in the EU are clearly not as attractive for foreign jobseekers compared to jobs in some large English-speaking countries,” said Pawel Adrjan, director of EMEA Economic Research at Indeed.

Pawel highlighted the importance of improving the EU’s appeal as a global employment hub. “Specific agreements with other countries and leveraging the strengths of EU regions could help attract the desired skills and workers,” he said.

“In general, Indeed’s findings also suggest jobseekers from abroad are more likely to click on job postings in a given country when there is a significant cultural diaspora in that country and when there is linguistic or geographical proximity to their home nation,” he continued.

“Ireland, for example, has already taken in a high number of Ukrainian refugees and has been very welcoming to those seeking refuge from the Russian invasion. This could help to explain why Ireland is among the top ten countries for job searches for Ukrainians who have yet to leave their home country.”

To learn more, visit Indeed Hiring Lab website.



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