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London retains title of most popular city for work

Saleha Riaz
·3-min read
London appeals most to those around the world that are highly educated and working in digital or professional roles. Photo: Getty Images
London appeals most to those around the world that are highly educated and working in digital or professional roles. Photo: Getty Images

London was voted the most desirable city to work in, a title it has held for the last eight years, despite uncertainty around Brexit and the coronavirus pandemic, a survey revealed.

The Global Talent Survey, compiled by Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Totaljobs and The Network, an alliance of recruitment websites, gathered the views of 209,000 participants in 190 countries.

“The UK capital proved to be most popular for workers from a number of different types of countries: those with historic and language links such as South Africa and Nigeria, those with strong historic working links including Portugal and Romania, and also economic powerhouses such as China,” the report found.

Additionally, despite Brexit, London remains the second most popular city for European workers, behind Berlin, it noted.

The study also shows that London appeals most to those around the world that are highly educated and working in digital or professional roles.

READ MORE: UK living standards to be hit as disposable income set to fall

The workers that most favour London include those in the legal (21%), insurance (21%), finance (20%), media (20%) and health and social care sectors (18%).

Jon Wilson, CEO of Totaljobs said: “It’s encouraging to see that British employers can continue to attract the best talent from the global workforce, in part due to London’s long-standing reputation as a multi-cultural hub for international trade and its strong employment offering."

"This said, there’s still work to do in remedying labour shortages in key industries which are less conducive to remote working, particularly social care, logistics, and hospitality," he added.

Chart: The Global Talent Survey
Chart: The Global Talent Survey

Meanwhile, the UK as a whole has stayed in fifth position since 2018, after dropping from second between 2014 and 2018.

The US has fallen off the top spot of most desirable countries for the first time, being overtaken by Canada, which was up from third place in 2018.

Australia came in at number three, up from fourth place in 2018.

Two other Asia-Pacific countries that have won praise for their public health response — Singapore and New Zealand — appear in the top ten for the first time.

In addition, attitudes toward some of the world’s most famous cities have changed, with New York falling from second spot to eighth.

Globally, fewer people are willing to move for work, potentially impacting availability of talent, the report said.

“Nonetheless, many of the countries that have grown their appeal since 2018 are those with relatively low COVID-19 cases, or government responses that have largely been regarded as efficient and positive,” it added.

While there is less appetite now to move to another country, the majority of workers globally (57%) would be open to stay in their home country while working for an employer abroad.

Around 57% of Brits said they are willing to do this. Companies based in the UK were ranked the fifth most popular for remote employment from abroad, while companies in the US take the top spot to work for remotely.

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