Open Europe Blog

The ONS has today released its UK labour market statistics for the period April-June 2014, which include the latest estimates of the number of EU migrants in the workforce. These are the key points:
  • In total, there were around 820,000 more people employed in the UK than a year earlier, of which around 500,000 were UK born and 327,000 were non-UK born. 
  • Of the non-UK born, 187,000 were from the EU and 140,000 from non-EU countries.
  • The number of Bulgarian and Romanian born people employed in the UK stood at 153,000, up by 13,000 from the same period last year (a 9% increase), before transitional labour market controls were lifted.
  • However, the numbers from other central and eastern European countries increased far more dramatically to 861,000, up by 178,000 from last year (a 26% increase).
  • The number of migrants from the ‘old’ EU member states fell by 9,000 (a 1.2% decrease).
This is only one set of data and refer only to employment (not the same as migration figures, the latest batch of which will be released later this month), and it will be interesting to see how the figures match up.
Source: ONS

The chart above breaks down the share of EU born employed and shows that the group responsible for the biggest increase is the central and eastern European countries that joined the EU in 2004. The Romanian and Bulgarian share is up a little but, as we noted before, there has not been a major change since the lifting of transitional controls on 1 January 2014. Interestingly, the number of people employed from the ‘old’ EU 14 states has dropped slightly – the number of migrants from this group had been increasing as a result of the eurozone crisis. Is this a sign that this trend is slowing or reversing?

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