The trickle of jobs leaving Brexit Britain has yet to turn into a flood.
Several big financial services firms have announced they will move about 9,000 jobs out of the country in order to safeguard their business once the U.K. leaves the European Union.
That is not yet showing up in employment data. The jobless rate was just 4.6% in the three months to March 31, according to data published Wednesday.
But experts say there could be a much larger exodus of jobs to come, and the scale will depend on the future ties between the U.K. and the EU, its biggest trade partner. Weaker economic growth will hurt employment too.
"We retain the view that jobs growth will slow over the coming months and unemployment will start creeping up later on in 2017," said Howard Archer, chief economist at IHS Markit.
Prime Minister Theresa May wants a clean break from the EU. If she is reelected in June, she plans to take the U.K. out of Europe's unified market, which allows the free flow of goods and workers across borders.
If May doesn't manage to negotiate a deal giving British firms full access to European customers, companies might have to shift operations to an EU member state. Tariffs and other barriers to trade may prompt others to shed jobs.
Banks go first
Banks are a good example of the problem. Under EU rules, they can operate freely across the bloc as long as they are based in one of the member states. Once the U.K. leaves the EU, British banks will likely lose these rights.
Consulting firm EY monitors 222 U.K. financial services firms. More than a quarter of them have announced that they are moving some staff or part of their operations out of the country, EY said.
Germany's Deutsche Bank (DB) is preparing to move up to 4,000 jobs from the U.K. Swiss bank UBS (UBS) will probably have to move about 1,000 positions abroad.
HSBC (HSBC), Britain's biggest bank, is planning to move 1,000 workers to its Paris office.
Trickle of jobs leaving Brexit UK has yet to turn into a flood
May 18, 2017 by Leave a Comment