The financial world has seen many changes since World War II. During the years after the war, the United States was an economic powerhouse, accounting for nearly 27% of the global economy. Peace brought prosperity to many nations. The countries which had suffered mass devastation during the war rebuilt their industrial bases with astonishing speed. This was particularly true in Europe. Much has changed for the better since the creation of a common market in Europe. 19 nations now use the Euro. Leading the pack are Germany, France, Italy, and Spain. These ‘big four’ European economies are the industrial and financial centres of the continent. Their economies also make them prime destinations for immigrants from the developing world.
Germany is home to a large number of the world’s most recognizable brands. Their economy comprises 30% of the Eurozone’s income, the biggest slice of the pie. Unemployment in Germany is at 5.5%, which is close to an all-time low. Immigrants moving to Germany for work have a high probability of finding gainful employment. Germany has a sizable elderly population. Labour laws have been relaxed to encourage young professionals to migrate into the country. The German economy is heavily reliant on its large export surplus. There are speculations of declining demand for German exports. Although this has caused some uncertainty in the manufacturing sector, the overall outlook is healthy.
France is placed right after Germany and contributes to 22% of the Eurozone’s income. Its free-market mindset has always been an advantage. France is a leader in the arts, as well as a manufacturing giant. Unemployment stands at 8.1%. The tech sector in France is on a hiring spree, with foreign engineers filling a significant portion of tech jobs. The recent political turmoil has made France the topic of some speculation. Street protests and demonstrations combined with nationalistic rhetoric from both parties have made France potentially less attractive for immigrants. However, the angst is likely the result of unplanned, undocumented and unskilled migration. It is likely to dissipate as the Syrian crisis eases and the inflow of refugees declines.
Italy is Europe’s largest producer of wine and contributor of 17% of the Eurozone’s income. Its current unemployment rate is close to 9.7%. Italy has always been welcoming of immigrants and foreign workers, particularly those involved in the agriculture and textile industries. In recent weeks the coronavirus outbreak has dealt a huge blow to the inflow of immigrant workers to Italy. Some towns and cities are under quarantine. Economic activity has come to a standstill in these regions. This could be seen as a temporary setback. All the same, new immigrants remain cautious about moving to Italy.
Spain generates about 11% of the Eurozone’s income. The unemployment rate in Spain is 14%. The country is the summer retreat of Europe and has a massive tourism sector. Thousands of seasonal jobs are created in travel and hospitality each year in Spain. These are substantially filled with foreign workers. The issue with tourism is that although profitable, it isn’t perennial. Migrant workers can aspire for contract jobs during the high season, but struggle to build careers in Spain.
While Europe is home to some large and extremely developed economies, its allure as a destination for skilled migrants is limited. When targeting one of Europe’s big four for migration the first consideration must be language. English language skills may not be sufficient to land you a job on which you may build a career. On the other hand fluency in the local language can take you places. You can turn what may seem a barrier to entry for most, into a competitive personal advantage. Another consideration would be finding an efficient money transfer service to send remittances back home. The obvious solution would be Ria Money Transfer UK, which offers one of the lowest fees and best exchange rates worldwide.