Number of jobs advertised in Britain falls by over 650,000 post-Brexit

Concerns are being raised over a potential skills gap filled by EU workers

Brexit, jobs, advertised, Financial Times, CEB TalentNeutron, skills gap, EU, unemployment

London City Hall (right) is lit red with the .London web domain, with Tower Bridge in the background | Image: John Phillips / PA Archive/Press Association Images

The number of jobs advertised in Britain fell by nearly 700,000 in the days following the EU referendum result.

Figures published in the Financial Times show that in the week before the referendum, almost 1.5 million jobs were advertised.

But after June 23rd, the number of jobs looking to be filled dropped to around 820,000.

It says online job advertising can be an early indication of the willingness by firms to hire - and that the indications are  companies are pulling back.

Consultancy firm CEB TalentNeutron says the UK workforce contains roughly 2.2 million citizens of other EU countries: many from Poland, Romania, Portugal, Spain, Italy, and Greece.

“The referendum came at a time of growing hostility toward immigrants, whom opponents of EU membership blamed for taking jobs from UK citizens and driving down wages," the firm says.

"Even though unemployment in the UK is quite low, and European nationals constitute just 5% of the UK’s workforce, a big part of the rationale behind Brexit was to give Westminster a freer hand in restricting immigration from the continent.”

It also says that the British exit could exacerbate the country’s skills gap.

“The UK is running at a high level of employment and businesses are already having a hard time finding skilled British workers to fill certain positions in fields such as technology and finance.”

It says  employers have already turned to the European talent pool to bridge gaps, and taking that away “will not automatically result in these jobs going to UK citizens."

“The UK would have to embark on a robust program of education and workforce development to fill these roles, with the economy suffering in the meantime.”

Meanwhile a research institute in Finland is predicting that British unemployment will climb to 4.83% in August.

The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy (ETLA) in Helsinki says it will then reach 4.86% in September, before falling back to 4.77% in October.