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Europe on the Move

Europe on the Move: Cross-Border Job Search in the EU & What It Means for Employers

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The principle of free movement, long-enshrined as one of the central pillars of the European Union, has never been so controversial.

Faced with an unprecedented influx of over a million refugees and migrants into the continent in less than 12 months, the leaders of the EU’s 28 member countries have struggled to formulate a consistent response to the crisis. Meanwhile, anti-EU parties have surged in the polls in several countries. 

But while politicians and the public may debate how best to cope with the continent’s worst migration crisis since World War II, the fact remains that within the borders of the EU’s 28 member countries, people today face virtually no legal barriers to moving from one country to another. Fences and temporary border checks aside, freedom of movement is a given. And not only can EU citizens move anywhere, they have the right to work anywhere in the bloc—visa and work-permit free.

Today, many Europeans take advantage of this right and a significant amount of cross-border job search on Indeed is performed within the borders of the EU. In Europe, cross-country job search data is not only a measure of jobseeker interest in migrating between countries. It represents an interest that could easily be—and which regularly is—translated into an actual move.

In this report, we take a close look at migration patterns and EU job search data to find out who is moving where and why—and what this means for employers.

Indeed Economist Mariano Mamertino

Mariano Mamertino

Economic Research Analyst, Indeed


Most Popular Destinations in the EU

Who’s moving, where they’re going—and why

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Job Search Trends

What search trends tell us about the European jobseeker

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Indeed’s latest report on cross-border mobility within the European Union.


Migration to the UK

Is the UK the promised land for EU jobseekers?

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Indeed Economist Mariano Mamertino

Mariano Mamertino

Economic Research Analyst, Indeed

About the Author

Mariano Mamertino is an economic research analyst at Indeed. Mariano’s analysis contributes to reports, blogs, and research bulletins from the Indeed Hiring Lab, a global research institute committed to advancing the knowledge of job seekers and talent acquisition professionals worldwide. He studies Indeed data on how people are searching for jobs to better understand the state of the global labor market.

Mariano holds a B.S. and an M.S. in Economics from Bocconi University. In the past, he has worked as a research fellow at Central European University in Budapest, and as a junior research officer at the International Labour Organization (ILO) in Geneva. He is among the authors of the ILO’s flagship report “World of Work 2014: Developing With Jobs” and he has collaborated on several institutional and academic publications. His main research interests are skills, job matching, job search/hiring practices and labour markets.

Daniel Culbertson, Eleanor Hooker, Daniel Humphries, Alex McAreavey, Tara M. Sinclair

About the Indeed Hiring Lab

The Indeed Hiring Lab is a global research institute committed to advancing the knowledge of human resource and talent management professionals worldwide. Under the direction of Chief Economist Tara M. Sinclair, PhD, the Indeed Hiring Lab is developing original research using proprietary Indeed data to uncover exclusive insights into the labour market.

In addition to conducting research, Indeed economists are frequently invited to brief the media on economic and labour trends as well as offer commentary. They have been quoted in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Irish Times and have appeared on CNN, C-Span, NPR, Fox Business, Bloomberg Radio and TV, and many other local and international news programs.

About Indeed

As the world’s #1 job site, with over 180 million unique visitors every month from over 60 different countries, Indeed has become the catalyst for putting the world to work. Indeed is intensely passionate about delivering the right fit for every hire. Indeed helps companies of all sizes hire the best talent and offers the best opportunity for jobseekers to get hired.