The UK could replace the US as the top work destination

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The U.S., U.K. and Australia remain the favorite destinations for professionals globally, but the U.K. is gaining ground as the top destination for those wanting to work overseas, a new survey shows.

According to a report published Tuesday titled 'Global professionals on the move – 2014' by global recruiter Hydrogen, the U.S. remains the top destination for those already working abroad and those wanting to do so.

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But it added that the U.K. has made headway against the U.S. to be almost equal as the most favored country for professionals wanting to work overseas.

"The U.K. and the U.S. markets are both improving, and given the current economic climate in the U.S., the U.K. is seen as a strong alternative for professionals in similar sectors seeking to relocate," Alev Kilic from business school ESCP Europe, said in the report.

The outlook for Britain's economy has improved over the past year. Gross domestic product (GDP) rose 0.8 percent in the first quarter from the previous one, with the economy expanding for the fifth straight quarter.

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The U.S., U.K and Australia as the top places to work reflected a preference for English-speaking countries. Others listed in the top 10 for relocation were Switzerland, Canada, Germany, Singapore, UAE, France and Spain. The main attractions for working abroad were lifestyle, prospects and culture.

Where city preferences were given, these tended to be capital cities, with London the most preferred. The British capital was ranked number one by 14 percent of professionals, twice as many as New York, which ranked second, the survey showed.

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The report was based on the results of an online survey conducted in November that garnered 2,444 responses from professionals in 99 different countries working across a range of sectors such as finance, oil and gas, and technology.

It was conducted by a consultancy project team from ESCP Europe and studied the opportunities and motivations of highly qualified, high earning professionals working abroad.

According to the study, more companies than ever recognize the value of hiring "international talent" and a growing number of professionals are willing to work in another country.

More than a third of those survey said they would be willing to work abroad compared with 16 percent five years ago, while 40 percent of global professionals said they now believe that there are no barriers to moving abroad compared to five years ago when all those questioned in the survey believed that some barriers to relocation existed.

The reports identified five countries facing a "talent gap" or in other words, face difficulty filling jobs: Japan, Brazil, India, Turkey and Hong Kong.

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According to the survey: "Despite the demand for talent in BRICs [Brazil, Russia, India, China], Brazil this year disappeared from the top 15 desirable destinations, and both Hong Kong and China have slipped down the rankings to 11th and 12th place respectively.

"[This] suggests that although there is an understanding that these emerging markets are important, cultural barriers, coupled with a perceived 'distance' from home, may make them less appealing," it added.