On June 23rd of this year, the United Kingdom will vote in referendum on their future with the European Union. Their potential exit, which has been dubbed “The Brexit”, would undoubtedly have major ramifications on the European economy, and the global economy as a whole. One of the ramifications of a Brexit on the rest of Europe that could possibly be overlooked or underestimated, is the effect on employment throughout the entire EU.
The United Kingdom currently boasts the third lowest unemployment rate throughout the European Union at 5.1%. To put this number in comparison, the EU average is nearly four percentage points higher, at 8.9%. Not only does the United Kingdom have high employment, but it has also been instrumental in creating jobs since the financial recession of 2008. The United Kingdom has created more jobs since 2008 than any other nation in the European Union. The factor that makes this job growth so significant, is the fact that one half of these newly created jobs are filled by European Union citizens. In fact, the number of EU citizens working in the U.K. has risen to 2.1 million, a 67% increase since the recession in 2008.
If the British do in fact vote to leave the EU, the economic union could lose this powerhouse of job creation, and the ensuing increase to unemployment would only accentuate the other economic issues that would face the already distressed European economy.