British businesses are recruiting as usual despite Brexit fears

  • 61% of employers back EU remain campaign
  • 85% say EU referendum has not affected their decision to hire
  • 69% of recruiters are hiring more than a year ago
  • 72% have hired since announcement of EU referendum


The latest research from the UK’s largest job site,, confirms that the majority of British employers are in favour of staying in the EU. What’s more, over half feel Brexit will put UK jobs at risk.

Of the 1700 employers surveyed, 61% will vote to remain in the EU when the UK goes to the polls on 23 June. London is leading the remain campaign, with 71% of the capital’s business leaders opposing Brexit.

Over half of employers fear leaving Europe could put jobs at risk, while a further 55% believe Brexit will deter foreign investment in the UK. When asked if an EU exit would lead to more jobs for UK workers, 63% of respondents said no.

These figures are largely unchanged since first surveyed employers back in February, when the referendum was announced, suggesting Britain’s business leaders are resolute in their views.

For those in the remain camp, the economy (48%) and business and trade (41%) are the two biggest issues driving their decision for Britain to stay in the EU. On the other hand, for those voting to leave in the June poll, British sovereignty (51%) and immigration (32%) are the driving factors.


James Reed, chairman of comments:

“We surveyed over 1,700 employers and they are very clear; a strong majority said that we should remain in the EU. And it’s easy to understand why. More than half of UK employers think jobs would be at risk if the UK leaves the EU. And for many people, this is the harsh reality that could affect them most.”

Despite the uncertainty surrounding Britain’s EU membership, UK businesses aren’t holding back on recruiting new members of staff. 85% of employers said that the upcoming referendum has not impacted their decision to hire with 82% stating that they plan to hire more permanent staff in the next twelve months.

On average, 50,000 new jobs are added to every week, with advertised jobs up 8% compared to this time last year. Sectors leading this annual growth include Graduate (41%), Education (22%), Legal, Health and Manufacturing (21% respectively).

More than two thirds of respondents said they are hiring more than they were a year ago. Of those hiring less, 41% stated this was a result of business growth slowing and just 16% put their hesitation to hire down to a potential Brexit.


James Reed continues:

“Amidst all the uncertainty around Brexit and the world economy, it’s encouraging that British employers haven’t stopped their hiring. This looks set to continue into next year with 82% of employers planning to take on more people over the next twelve months. This is good news for jobseekers entering the market or thinking about looking for their next role.”


Survey of 1,708 employers from the database (1013 from Feb 23rd survey/695 from April 27th survey).


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