Health, Wealth, and a Longer Expatriate Work Week

According to a recent publication by the University College London (UCL), one out of ten skilled British citizens currently live (and work) abroad, a total of 4.7 million people. With the majority of these expatriates moving to Australia, Canada or the US, most saw their earnings increase 25% over similarly skilled individuals who remained in the UK but in numbers of hours worked, expats work an average of 55 hours, 11 hours more than the typically 44 hour work week in the UK.

But, more time spent on the job hasn’t seemed to have any negative effect on these busy professionals with 86% stating that they were in good or excellent health despite their increased hours, while only 61% of UK professionals felt the same way. Still, this sense of well-being could potentially be psychosomatic – good pay, no worries = no worries, good feelings. While the jury is might be out on the cause, the effect is that individuals seeking international removals to Australia, Canada, or the US are benefiting positively from leaving their home country.

Unskilled Immigrant Concerns

Despite this, some concerns have been raised regarding the long-term implications this type of emigration will have on economy in the UK, because although similarly skilled professionals from other countries do immigrate to the UK as well, so do unskilled labourers. According to the UCL study, approximately 684,000 skilled Britons left- and were subsequently replaced- between 1964 and 2011, but a further 2.4 million unskilled immigrants also entered the country at the same time.

Statistically speaking, this means that 1 in 4 immigrants (out of 9.6 million) are considered low-skill labourers, making for a potential oversaturation of unskilled to skilled labour. Keeping this in mind, expatriates that have left for greener pastures may soon find themselves lured back to a familiar paddock with incentives or programs designed to increase the number of highly-skilled workers in the UK. Although unconfirmed, politicians looking to assure future stability may have to come up with a solution to either prevent native Britons from shipping to Australia and surrounding countries for work, or to give them a hefty incentive to come home if they already have.

Until then, however, it would appear that relocating to Australia has been a smart move for most UK expatriates and enjoying the success that has come from leaving the nest should be considered economic part and parcel