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