More Brain Drain from Greece to UK

For down and out Greeks, the U.K. is the promised land with jobs aplenty…

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Greece was already suffering from a bad case of brain drain but recent debacles, which ushered in capital controls and almost got the country ejected from the euro, have turbocharged the pace of human capital flight. Direction of travel: west across mainland Europe and the English Channel.

Data provided by U.K. jobs site shows that visits to its website from Greek workers last week more than doubled from a year ago and that traffic from Greece has hit an all-time high. Based on weekly growth rates, CV-library expects the overall number of Greek workers searching its site for U.K.-based employment to double from June to July.

As shown in the chart, the spike in traffic coincided with the government closing its banks and announcing daily limits on the amount of cash Greeks can withdraw. On Monday, the country’s banks reopened. Capital controls remain in place.

Before this recent surge there were about as many job-seekers from Greece as from Portugal, once also a bailout recipient, and only half as many from France, the U.K.’s next-door neighbor. Now, Greek job-seekers outnumber them both. Bear in mind, too, that France’s population is over six times that of Greece.

The allure is simple enough. The U.K. boasts nine quarters (and counting) of economic growth and it’s home to London, a financial capital on par with New York.