Labour Mobility in the Commonwealth

How connected are labour markets between Commonwealth countries?

This year’s Commonwealth Games are being heralded as “the standout Games in the history of the movement.” And with England topping the medals table for the first time in 28 years, more than 140 broken records, and an unprecedented number of Para-sports events, the 11-day competition was certainly memorable.

While the games often struggle to compete with the enthusiasm generated by the Olympics, for example, they serve to remind us of how connected the countries of the Commonwealth still are. This week, in the wake of the games and the start of commemorating the centennial of World War I, it’s an interesting time to take a look at the labour market between these nations — where are jobseekers in Commonwealth countries looking to go and which destinations are most popular.

The latest report from the Indeed Hiring Lab investigates global labour mobility, revealing that across the globe, 9.1% of people are searching for jobs across borders. We took a closer look at the Commonwealth countries where Indeed has a site, using search data from July 2014 to see which other countries in the Commonwealth people in each of these nations are considering.

From this analysis, we discovered that among these nations, 10.7% of people currently located in a Commonwealth country are currently searching for jobs in another Commonwealth country. With ongoing debate around the future of the Commonwealth and its place in today’s global community, this rate of mobility shows that interest in moving to other member nations is still strong — 1.6 percentage points higher than the rate of mobility between countries generally.

Echoing its place in the medal table, England leads as the most popular destination in the Commonwealth, garnering the highest total number of jobseekers from other Commonwealth countries. India is second, followed by Canada, Wales and Australia.

Here’s the full ranking of the countries we analyzed (based on a normalised scale, with England equal to 100):

Location Desirability in the Commonwealth
Rank External Interest Share
(Relative to England)
1England
100%
2India
49%
3Canada
39%
4Wales
30%
5Australia
20%
6Scotland
18%
7Singapore
12%
8South Africa
10%
9New Zealand
7%
10Malaysia
4%
11Northern Ireland
4%
10Pakistan
1%

 
The graph below shows where these jobseekers originate, and where they direct their searches.

Labor Movement in the Commonwealth

To learn more about labour mobility worldwide, including an in-depth look at movement to and from the UK, download the full report from the Indeed Hiring Lab.

Download the free report