Geographical and labour market

Geographical and labour market

Mobility report

1) Method of Investigation

Between the 13th of November and the 9th of December 2009, TNS Opinion & Social, a consortium created between TNS plc and TNS opinion, carried out wave 72.5 of the EUROBAROMETER, on request of the EUROPEAN COMMISSION, Directorate-General for Communication, “Research and Speechwriting”. The SPECIAL EUROBAROMETER N°337 is part of wave 72.5 and covers the population of the respective nationalities of the European Union Member States, resident in each of the Member States and aged 15 years and over. The basic sample design applied in all states is a multi-stage, random (probability) one. In each country, a number of sampling points was drawn with probability proportional to population  size (for a total coverage of the country) and to population density. All interviews were conducted face-to-face in people’s homes and in the appropriate national language. As far as the data capture is concerned, CAPI (Computer Assisted Personal Interview) was used in those countries where this technique was available.

2) Objectives

This Eurobarometer survey aims to take a closer look at Europeans’ mobility experiences and intentions. It also wants to help to explore the reasons, factors and incentives that make people move or, indeed, stay home.

Topics covered include:

  • Respondent’s opinions about the impact of people moving across regions or countries within the EU on individuals, families, the economy, the labour market and European integration.

  • Respondents’ experiences of living, working and/or studying abroad

  • Respondents’ plans to work abroad in future

  • Positive and negative experiences of those who have already worked abroad

  • Motivations and disincentives for working abroad

  • Perceived issues to be faced when working abroad

  • Ways respondents think they would find work abroad

  • Respondents’ knowledge of EURES (European Employment Services), and the services they would look for in an employment service

3) Findings

  • The majority of Europeans think that moving countries or regions is good for European integration; half think that it is good for the economy, the labour market, and individuals, but fewer think mobility is good for families.

  • In spite of these views, a relatively small share of ten percent of respondents has actually lived and worked abroad, 13% have been abroad for education or training, but 41% have a friend or relative that has experienced living and working in another country.

  • Experience abroad, be it for work or study, makes people more likely to consider moving abroad for work in the future. Having a relative or friend who has lived or worked abroad also predisposes people to consider moving abroad.

  • Around a third of Europeans (34%) rate the chances of finding a job in another country better than those in their own country; close to one in five (17%) envisages working abroad at some point in the future.

  • Most Europeans who envisage working abroad plan to do so in a few years time, although when they do move the most common desire is to get a permanent position, and to stay for as long as possible.

  • As a result of their longer term view, the majority of those planning to work abroad are yet to make any concrete preparations, although 26% have learned a new language.

  • The United States, the United Kingdom and Australia are the three most popular destinations for those considering working abroad.

  • Personal contacts and the Internet are the most likely sources of information Europeans would use to find a job abroad. 21% would use a public employment agency, and 12% have heard of EURES (European Employment Services)

  • Europeans living in NMS12 countries are more likely to be motivated to work abroad, and in their choice of country by economic considerations, whilst those in EU15 countries are more drawn by lifestyle and cultural factors.

  • Unemployment is also a powerful motivator for mobility – almost half would consider moving regions or countries to find work if they were to be out of work. However, financial incentives are not the dominant consideration for all Europeans – 28% of Europeans would not work abroad no matter the money on offer.


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