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London a Popular Destination for Overseas Workers

Almost two thirds of job seekers globally say they would be willing to move abroad for work, according to a new study by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and The Network.

The authors comment that this is a startlingly high proportion, which says a lot about the evolving marketplace for talent.

“It’s a world in which the geographic barriers to employment are coming down, including in the minds of some of the most talented and highly educated workers,” says Rainer Strack, a BCG senior partner and one of the report’s four co-authors. “This is opening up significant opportunities for individuals and for the many countries and multinational companies that are facing talent shortages of one sort or another.”

BCG and The Network surveyed job seekers in 189 countries to learn what factors motivate them and which countries they would consider moving to.

They found that the U.S. is the top foreign work destination, seen as appealing by 42% of job seekers in the study. Next most appealing are two other English-speaking countries: the UK and Canada, cited by 37% and 35% of survey takers, respectively. Most of the remaining countries among the top ten work destinations, starting with Germany, are European countries that have strong economies, famous cultural attractions, or both.

The study paints a picture of a global workforce that is startling in its diversity. Its findings include:

  • Occupation has a big influence on mobility. People who work in engineering and technical jobs are the most likely to consider a job abroad. Those in more tightly regulated fields, such as social work and medicine, are the least mobile.
  • Would-be expatriates don’t just think in terms of countries; they think in terms of cities, putting London first, New York second, and Paris third in terms of desirability.

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