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Are Americans Going Abroad to Get Jobs?

After a long trend in America of workers showing little to no interest in seeking work in other countries, the times are beginning to change - especially among younger people.
In a report conducted by the Network and the Boston Consulting Group, roughly 200,000 individuals originating from a little less than 200 countries were asked questions pertaining to their employment. It was discovered that just roughly 35% of Americans would be open to the idea of relocating to another country for employment. Out of the top 31 largest countries included in the survey, the US scored the lowest percentage to this question.
However, it was also found that just under 60% of American individuals between 21-30 years of age reported that they would be willing to relocate to another country for work. Many of the researchers in charge of the study speculated that the younger respondents are likely more willing to find work in areas outside of the United States due to the troubling recession.
Those that divulged their openness to finding work in another country were heavily in favor of destinations that speak English. In the study, respondents shared the most desirable locations to relocate, should the need ever arise for them. U.K. leads the list, while Germany, Canada, and Italy trail behind. After these, France, Switzerland, Australia, Ireland, Spain, and Sweden complete the list of the top 10 foreign employment destinations for American workers.

Stories from Un- and Under-Employed Americans

USAction holds a large database full of interviews with Americans that are either under- or un-employed. The database has been compiled into a study and report entitled, Hardly Working: Stories from Un- and Under-Employed Americans. The report reveals the bottom-line issues that Americans are facing in their pursuits for employment, and what it is that is essentially holding them back.
As it stands, un-employment is currently affecting more than 15% of Americans, according to William McNary of USAction. This percentage breaks down to one in six individuals that are capable of working. The report details a wide range of stories from Americans that simply can't find work, whether they are elderly and discriminated against for their age, or young and discriminated against due to their lack of experience (despite a college degree). The one pattern that remains true throughout many of the interviews is that many Americans are simply moving elsewhere in order to make ends meet. This just a small amount of information gleaned from a few of the interviews in the report.
Gregory - New Jersey - A young man by the name of Gregory was employed at a restaurant as a part-time manager. Eager to find more work, he decided to take a job in South Korea teaching English. Gregory states that he feels confident in his move due to the use of his education in his new job, the different, government-supported healthcare system, a competitive wage, and a pension. Gregory isn't the only one that has relocated to South Korea for work; there are thousands of Americans there as well. Thousands more populate China, Japan, Europe, South America, and the Middle East. For many of the Americans that made the move abroad, it was also in an effort to help pay off student loan debt. Despite Gregory's better prospects in South Korea, he still believes that he should be teaching and living in America, as well as paying taxes there.
Timothy - Florida - Out of the last two years, Timothy from Florida has been unemployed for every bit of it, except for three months. Because of this, Timothy accepted a position in China. In America, many employers turned Timothy away due to his "over-qualifications." Therefore, he found work in China as an English teacher. He feels sorrowful over leaving America behind for employment, but times are definitely difficult. The way Timothy sees it is that if American jobs can be outsourced to other countries, Americans can as well.
Paul - Oregon - Paul was lucky enough to find work closer to home; he ended up accepting a position in Canada. Two and a half years of employment was enough for Paul to give up hope in America and take a job in Vancouver. Because Paul was born in Canada, he feels somewhat comfortable with the move. However, he misses his family and home in Oregon, and wants to return whenever possible.

What Does This Entail for the United States?

As the economy becomes more globalized, it seems that overseas migration would only be a natural part of it. As more young people search for work outside of the US border, the country shows a level of heightened maturity and multicultural acceptance. After all, there's nothing really wrong with young people moving to countries other than ones in which they were born. Working in other countries also opens the door for opportunities in picking up new skills.
However, it remains to be said that there is an obvious problem looming when young, healthy Americans must migrate to other countries to find work. This is especially true when US businesses and companies cannot provide competitive salaries, wages, or benefits. As a place that once thrived on possibility and innovation, the US has become a melange of slim pickings in the corporate world. This is and should be deeply unsettling.
It seems for now, however, that the American dream is becoming a life lived in a tiny apartment based in another country.
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Alice Bryant's picture

Alice Bryant is the Editor of Creditnet and a personal finance expert with over a decade of experience writing about credit cards, credit scores, debt repair, and more.

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