It was a Friday morning like no other. Commuters’ heads buried deeper than usual into the pages of the morning papers, darting eyes scanning the carriages for reassurance. Britain had Brexited
and the air was thick with uncertainty.
The result of June’s EU referendum has thrown up many questions about Britain’s future: its position in the global economy, its ability to trade with former European partners, and the resilience of the job market.
Polls by YouGov and The Centre of Economic Business Research have already indicated crashes in consumer and business confidence, but how has Brexit affected the British workforce?
Any concerns about job security are likely to have far reaching effects on the economy, particularly in terms of consumer spending and the housing market.
We asked 3,000 people “How concerned are you that Brexit will negatively impact your job in the next 6 months?” with responses ranging from “Not at all” to “Extremely” concerned.
Job concern is highly correlated to geographical voting patterns
The uncertain futures of Northern Ireland and Scotland are reflected in the concerns of their workers. Both countries voted to remain part of the European Union and both have since proposed a reactionary split from the UK.
Northern Ireland topped the poll with 80% of all respondents showing some level of concern about their employment, including 39% who said they were “extremely concerned”. In Scotland, 65% of workers are concerned about their jobs, with 30% “extremely concerned.”
Similarly, in Greater London, where residents voted 60% to 40% in favour of remaining in the EU, levels of concern were the second-highest. 71% of respondents said they were worried about the impact of Brexit on their job, including 29% who said they were “extremely concerned.”
Job concern is highly correlated to age
The job market was already difficult for young people prior to Brexit, so it’s hardly surprising to see that respondents aged 18-24 are the most concerned about employment. 76% of the age group stated some level of concern, and 28% extremely concerned.
Younger generations often hold different career aspirations to those before them. Many value intrinsic rewards and experiences over financial perks. The opportunity to work abroad is a large motivating factor for those who have grown up with a global world-view.
Older respondents were more confident that the result of the referendum would not impact them negatively. 48% of those aged 45-54, and 50% of the over 65s stated that they were not concerned at all.
It’s hard to say what the future holds for the UK. But if you are interested in getting a better understanding of how to manage your company during this period of uncertainty – drop us a line