The labour market is becoming more globalised.

Workers willing to look overseas for better jobs

Countries still reeling from the global recession could be set to become employment ‘ghost towns’ as more than a quarter of workers say they are willing to move overseas to find a better job.

The GfK International Employee Study, an international report from GfK Custom Research, found that more than a quarter of the workforce questioned (27 per cent) is willing to move to another country to find better employment.

And it is the young, qualified employees who are most likely to feel this workplace wanderlust: two fifths (41 per cent) of workers aged 18-29 agreed they are willing to move countries to find a better job, while that figure is one in three for degree holders (32 per cent) and nearly one in four for PhD holders (37 per cent).

“Our findings indicate a risk of ‘brain drain’ in the coming year, posing significant problems for companies and countries looking to recover from the downturn. Crucially, a third of people in R&D roles are also willing to look overseas - the very roles that many countries identify as key to recovery,” says Dr Ingrid Feinstein at GfK Switzerland.

Although the findings show that Central and Southern America look set to be the hardest hit of the markets covered, the trend is far from limited to developing markets. In the UK, 27 per cent of employees questioned said they were willing to move to another country to find a better job. Even the US and Canada – countries traditionally stereotyped for their relative disinterest in living abroad - face a fifth of their workers saying that they are ready to move countries to find a better job.

“The findings highlight just how globalised and fluid the labour market has become in many countries. The truth remains that, for many employees, moving country is no more daunting than moving company,” Dr Feinstein highlights.

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