What Will Happen To The Employment Sector After Brexit?
Last updated 26/04/2019
With the implications of Brexit causing upset among the political establishment, the issue of UK employment after leaving the EU has taken something of a back seat. Although there has been bad news from the car manufacturing sector, cause and effect of Brexit there is far from clear. Also, as services make up most of the UK's economy, the impact of Brexit needs to be carefully assessed, as far as it can be from the current standpoint.
Here is the news
Perhaps because of the continual media coverage of Brexit, recent UK employment figures haven't made the impact they could or should have done. The last two months' statistics show that there are more people in employment in the UK than ever before. In 2018, the number of those in work rose by 440,000. This is despite relentless pessimism in the media about the likely negative impact of Brexit on everything, including employment. Whatever the press would have us believe, it seems UK employers aren't listening.
Will investors pull out of Britain?
The impact of Brexit on future employment is very often cited as being negative because of uncertainty. The story goes that, as nobody yet knows what sort of post-leaving “deal” the UK government can or can't negotiate with the EU, potential financiers are being put off investing in British companies. In fact, it is uncertainty over any deal which investors don't like, rather than the UK leaving the EU's single market. Investors never like uncertainty, in any circumstances; that is just an argument for a deal of any sort – even No Deal – being nailed down one way or the other.
What about essential workers?
Apart from potential loss of investment, many people worry that essential services such as the NHS will inevitably suffer post-Brexit, as EU nationals leave the UK in their droves. There are two things to bear in mind here. While it is true that many NHS staff come from the EU, this has changed over the last two to three years, specifically since the referendum of June 2016. Job vacancies are increasingly being filled by workers from Asia, as well as from North and South America. As employment is a “lagging” indicator, any effect of Brexit won't be felt for a good few years yet.
A position of strength
However the job market shakes down during and after Brexit, and even if it doesn't happen at all, there are a large number of job vacancies in the UK, and this is good for workers. Wages are beginning to overtake inflation in the economy as a whole; and in certain sectors, employers are really having to push the boat out in terms of employment packages. Although traditionally well paid professions such as doctors and solicitors continue to lead the pack, other skills are also in high demand. The hospitality industry is an obvious example, but everything from sports therapists to veterinary nurses continue to be in high demand. Deal, no deal or any deal, Brexit won't be able to buck these employment trends.
Please note, this blog post is not to be considered as investment advice. We recommend you seek independent financial advice and conduct your own due diligence before making any investment.