Canada tops America as world’s favorite workplace: RPT

America is no long the #1 destination to work, according to a new study conducted by Boston Consulting Group. Yahoo Finance’s Rick Newman weighs in.

Video Transcript

- Canada has dethroned the US as the most desirable destination for overseas workers-- that's, at least, according to a new survey out from the Boston Consulting Group. The US narrowly beat out Australia for second place, while Singapore and New Zealand rounded out the top five. Yahoo Finance's Rick Newman has been looking through this survey, and Rick, it looks like-- or sounds like-- a lot of this had to do with individual countries that did really well during the pandemic, and on that front, the US really taking a big hit.

RICK NEWMAN: Seems that way. Boston Consulting has done this survey before-- they did it in 2014 and 2018. They asked, in this survey, a couple hundred thousand workers in 190 countries where they would most prefer to relocate to if they had to relocate.

In the prior surveys, the United States was at the top of the list. So, United States falling down a notch, and Canada taking the number one spot. Not surprising, given what happened in the United States in 2020. Obviously we did not do very well handling the coronavirus. Canada actually did do a lot better in terms of infection rates and deaths from the coronavirus.

We had the riots after, after George Floyd's killing last summer, a lot of counterprotests, a lot of racist violence related to that. And then we had President Trump losing the election, but saying that he did not lose the election. And this survey was taken from October through December of last year, so people who were watching this election chaos unfold in the United States as they were answering these questions, and I guess they said, ah, maybe Canada seems a little more welcoming.

- Yeah, at the same time it's kind of interesting to see that, that want to kind of work abroad down globally, too-- and not just globally, but in the US. Americans willing to work abroad, 51% in 2018 versus 40% in 2020. And I wonder, you know, what that might say about just general wants to travel during all this, and wanting to be closer to home.

RICK NEWMAN: Yeah, I think-- I mean, there was a stark drop from the last survey in 2018 to this one two years later and the people say-- saying they would be willing to work abroad for some period of time. That, that has to be related to the coronavirus. Again, this survey took place toward the end of 2020. Everybody could see what was happening everywhere with the coronavirus at this point.

So yeah, it clearly impacted people's willingness to travel. I'm in a way surprised it wasn't lower. I mean, overall, I think 40% of people said, yeah, I'd be willing to relocate to another country for work. That was with the coronavirus. So you can flip it around and say maybe that'll rebound once we make some progress and some headway with the vaccines, and maybe we'll be back to international travel again, robustly, by the time this is over.

- Rick, the other element to all this is just immigration, right? If you look at what happened during the Trump administration, even those who wanted to work to the US-- work in the US, just couldn't get a visa. So it seems only natural that that migrated North to Canada, who has really benefited on the back of some of these restrictions that were placed under the previous administration.

RICK NEWMAN: Yeah, absolutely. That's, that's logical. The report does not get into that level of detail.

I mean, they didn't ask people, did Donald Trump's apparent hostility toward immigrants affect your view of the United States? But it seems plausible to infer that that's the case. I mean, from the moment he declared his candidacy in 2015, Trump was bashing immigrants-- both legal and illegal immigration, we should point out. He did, obviously, try to clamp down on illegal immigration, but he wanted to restrict legal immigration as well. He imposed a big reduction in the number of people who can come, come here on an H-1B visa-- those are skilled workers that would come here to fill jobs where there aren't enough Americans to fill, fill those jobs.

So Joe Biden is trying to turn this around. He's clearly is not bashing immigrants the way Trump did, and he's reversing some of those policies. So who knows, maybe the next time Boston Consulting does this survey more people will feel like they want to go to the United States.

- Yeah, just a strange feeling to be coming in second there. Not used to taking the silver. Also, shout out Australia, moving up from seventh to fourth to third in this survey as well, so quite the rise down under. But Rick Newman, appreciate that.