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U.S. Remains Top Destination for International Workers

Appcast, the global leader in recruitment marketing technology and services, has announced findings from the Decoding Global Talent 2024: Dream Destinations and Mobility Trends” report published by Boston Consulting Group (BCG), The Network, The Stepstone Group, and Appcast. The fourth global study on international mobility trends, this year’s report reveals one in four professionals globally are actively seeking employment abroad, with the U.S. continuing to be a top destination for international workers. 

The 2024 report finds that working abroad remains a dream for many people worldwide, with 23% of professionals actively seeking jobs in other countries, and 63% expressing a willingness to do so. Younger people and people from countries with fast-growing populations are the most interested in moving overseas.  

In this year’s report, the first since 2021, the U.S. retains the number two position as the most attractive destination for international workers; Australia moves to first from third; Canada falls to third from first. International employees say they selected Australia as the overall top destination for quality of job opportunities (68%), quality of life (61%), and income, tax, and cost of living (45%). The U.K. ranks fourth in this yea’rs report. English-speaking countries with strong economies secured the top four spots.  

The desire to work in major U.S. cities also increased in 2024: New York City improved its ranking to number five from number eight in 2021. Los Angeles held steady at number 12 from 2021. At the same time, Washington, D.C. advanced in its ranking from 34 to 20 in 2021.  

Workers from regions with a labor surplus, owing to higher birth rates, tend to be more mobile than those who live in areas where the labor force is shrinking. The report finds workers in Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, and Mexico are the most willing to move to the U.S. for employment. Top reasons cited for choosing the U.S. are quality of job opportunities (77%), quality of life (56%), income, tax and cost of living (47%), and innovation and digitalization (43%).  

Respondents say that personal contact with future manager (62%), being open to negotiation (57%), detailed information about the country (51%), and contact with relocation experts (51%) are what inspires them to accept job offers in the U.S. International professionals in the technology and IT industry are most interested in relocating to the U.S. for work (24%). Other industries that topped the list were science and research (21%), telecommunications (21%), financial institutions (20%), and media (20%). 

“Other countries can be a great source of talent. But establishing a channel of workers from abroad requires employers to fundamentally overhaul how they recruit, relocate and integrate talent,” says Jens Baier, managing director, senior partner and leader of BCG’s work in HR excellence. “They may have to challenge their own biases and look for talent in markets and regions that they had not previously considered. Governments also play a strong enabling role in this process. They must establish policies, incentives and frameworks that help employers bring in the talent they need. Employers and nations that tap into such positive energy from the millions of workers with mobile aspirations will gain a major competitive advantage and source of growth.” 

For both U.S. and international workers, the willingness to work remotely for foreign employers increased, showing a strong interest in virtual employment: 55% of U.S. workers are willing to work remotely for a foreign employer, increasing from 51% in 2021; 78% of international employees expressed interest in working remotely for American companies, increasing from 57% in 2021.     

 “As we’ve seen with many advanced economies in the post-Covid era, immigration and remote work present significant opportunities for employers to fill open roles amid global labor shortages,” says Andrew Flowers, chief economist at Appcast. “For U.S. employers, the findings of this report help to highlight pockets of talent where you can reach an attractive pool of workers. Understanding the motivations of those workers allows you to tailor your recruiting strategy to achieve a match that is better for both the employer and the job seeker.”

Tags: Relocation

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