Immigration ‘particularly important’ to some sectors of UK economy, says ONS report – The Independent

Immigration is “particularly important” to the wholesale and retail, hospitality and health sectors, which employ around 1.5 million non-UK nationals, according to an official analysis.

Highlighting the severity of imposing curbs to immigration after Brexit research from the independent Office for National Statistics also shows that EU migrants account for as many as one in 10 of employees in some sectors of the British economy.

The ONS data claims that more than two million migrants from the EU were employed in industries including manufacturing, hospitality, healthcare and financial services during 2016.

The organisation’s annual report shows that last year’s estimated 3.4m workers – or around 11 per cent of the UK labour market – were foreign nationals. The number was made up of around 2.2m EU nationals and 1.2m non-EU nationals.

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Statisticians from the ONS add that non-UK nationals are more likely to be in jobs they are over qualified for than UK nationals and that workers from eastern Europe are likely to work more hours and earn lower wages.

ONS migration analyst Anna Bodey said the research shows the significant impact international migration has on the UK’s labour market.

She continued: “It is particularly important to the wholesale and retail, hospitality, and public administration and health sectors, which employs around 1.5m non-UK nationals.”

“Migrants from Eastern Europe, Bulgaria and Romania are likely to work more hours and ear lower wages than other workers, partly reflecting their numbers in lower-skilled jobs. Many EU migrants are also more likely to be over-educated for the jobs they are in.”

The ONS data adds that there are higher proportions of migrants in some sectors more than others.  Around one in seven workers – or 14 per cent – in the wholesale and retail and trade, hotels and restaurants sector are international migrants, including more than half a million from the EU.

In financial and business services around 12 per cent of the sector’s workforce are international migrants.

While workers from the EU as a whole make up 11 per cent of the manufacturing industry, around eight per cent of those are from the eight central and eastern European countries which joined the bloc just over a decade ago, including the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia.

The data undoubtedly shows the difficultly of imposing curbs to the free movement of people after Brexit due to the effect an immigration crackdown could have on the UK labour market, especially in the manufacturing, hospitality, healthcare and financial service industries. 

Immigration ‘particularly important’ to some sectors of UK economy, says ONS report – The Independent

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