Num­ber of EU work­ers in UK rises by 112,000 since Brexit vote

The Guardian Australia - - World News / Opinion - Alan Travis Home af­fairs ed­i­tor

The num­ber of peo­ple from other Euro­pean Union coun­tries work­ing in Bri­tain rose by 112,000 in the past year, ac­cord­ing to the first full set of of­fi­cial fig­ures pub­lished since the EU ref­er­en­dum.

How­ever, the fig­ures from the Of­fice of Na­tional Statis­tics show that the num­ber of Pol­ish and other east Euro­pean na­tion­als work­ing in Bri­tain has dropped for the first time in more than 10 years, down from 1,054,000 in the sum­mer of 2016 to 1,035,000.

The num­ber of Ro­ma­ni­ans and Bul­gar­i­ans work­ing in Bri­tain has, how­ever, con­tin­ued to rise, from from 257,000 to 347,000 – a 90,000 in­crease that ac­counts for the ma­jor­ity of the over­all in­crease in the last year.

The quar­terly ONS labour mar­ket statis­tics show the num­ber of UK na­tion­als em­ployed in Bri­tain rose over the 12 months to Septem­ber 2017 by 183,000 to 28.55 mil­lion. Over the same pe­riod, the num­ber of other EU na­tion­als em­ployed rose by 112,000 to 2.38 mil­lion, while the num­ber of non-EU na­tion­als work­ing in Bri­tain re­mained broadly flat at 1.21 mil­lion.

The first, al­beit mod­est, fall in the num­bers of Poles, Czechs, Lat­vians and other A8 east Euro­pean coun­tries that joined the EU in 2004 em­ployed in Bri­tain marks a turn­ing point that could re­flect the 20% in­crease in the value of the euro and the Pol­ish zloty against the pound, as much as con­cerns raised by the out­come of the Brexit vote in June 2016.

The fig­ures show that the num­ber of un­em­ployed na­tion­als of other EU coun­tries in Bri­tain has fallen by 34,000 in the last year from 113,00 to 79,000, while a fur­ther 452,000 are of­fi­cially classed as “eco­nom­i­cally in­ac­tive”, of whom 155,000 are stu­dents.

The num­ber of peo­ple from out­side the EU who are reg­is­tered un­em­ployed in Bri­tain also fell over the year to 95,000 in July to Septem­ber 2017, down from 118,000 in the same quar­ter the pre­vi­ous year.

The fig­ures show that the num­ber of Pol­ish and other east Euro­pean na­tion­als work­ing in the UK has fallen for the first time in more than a decade. Pho­to­graph: Matt Dun­ham/AP

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