Will the Improved UK economy Encourage Expats to Leave their Aussie Lifestyle?

Laura Harrison, 12 August, 2014

Throughout the recession, thousands of Brits made the commitment to trade their English lifestyle, for a life down under. According to the BBC, between 2005 and 2010 nearly 107,000 Britons settled for a new life in Australia. For many, it made perfect sense to leave Britain's struggling economy in exchange for Australian's thriving economy, better job opportunities, higher wages and an overall better quality of life.

However, with recent figures revealing that Australia's unemployment rate has reached 6.4% (the highest figure in the last 12 years), and the latest household financial comfort index revealing that Australians feel less financially comfortable than they did 12 months ago, with many households feeling even less comfortable about their finances than in the past four years – will the Aussie lifestyle continue to be so attractive to Brits? This combined with the UK economy finally returning to its pre-recession level and unemployment falling to a six year low of 2.12m, there is a wonder whether Brits will leave their sunny lifestyle in Australia and return back to their motherland.

Having said this, despite the UK economy growing, wage growth continues to remain slow in the UK. Latest figures have shown that wage rises including bonuses are at their lowest since 2009, while excluding bonuses average wage increases are at their lowest since 2001. So with people's incomes remaining to be squeezed in the UK, many British expats in Australia may continue to see Australia as the better place to live and won't be booking their international removals any time soon. 

On the other hand, for many Brits it seems as though the economy doesn't have an effect on their decision for where they live. While, Australia's thriving economy might have initially been the reason to encourage thousands of Brits to move across to the other side of the world, in recent years many Brits have discovered that what they thought would be a one-way trip to Australia hasn't turned out to be the dream lifestyle that they intended, with many returning home. For example, between the years 2009 and 2010, a staggering 7,000 Brits left Australia and returned back to their home. Many UK expats later realise that, while the economy might be better in Australia, it is more important for them to be with their friends and family in the UK. Furthermore, despite higher wages in Australia, many don't anticipate just how much the cost of living is there.

Overall, the worsening Aussie economy may encourage even more British expats to return to their loved ones in the UK. For those that do move purely for the Australian economy may discover that the UK may be the better choice to live or alternatively discover a completely new expat destination where the economy is booming. However with the economic figures relatively new from both England and Australia, it is difficult to predict what trends we will see for expats returning back to England and is something that will need to be monitored over time. 

Tags: unemployment | Australia | services | trade |



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