UK Reliance Upon EU Workers in Numbers

As we grow ever more aware of the impact of leaving the European Union, and travel further down that rabbit hole, the economic reliance upon migrant workers is becoming ever more apparent.

In a recent report released by the Office for National Statistics, the figures have been laid bare, and paint a concerning future for the state of the UK’s industries. Significantly, the retail, and hospitality and catering sectors are set to suffer massive potential losses, employing 508,000 EU nationals between them. Following, 382,000 EU nationals are employed in the financial and business services sector, and 8% in the British manufacturing industry are EU8 citizens.

701,000 non-UK nationals work in the public administration, education and health sector; over a quarter of total EU14 workers (those who joined the union before 2004). The highest number of non-UK nationals are employed in occupations such as selling goods, cleaning or freight handling, in which approximately 669,000 non-UK nationals are employed (510,000 of these are EU nationals). This is followed by professional occupations, in which 658,000 non-UK nationals were employed, 352,000 of which are EU nationals.

It will come as no surprise, but the report also found that non-UK nationals were more likely to be employed in jobs they were overqualified for. Approximately 15% of UK nationals were working jobs that they were deemed to be overqualified for, compared to 40% of non-UK nationals. 37% of EU14 citizens, and 40% of migrant workers from Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Slovenia were deemed to be overqualified.

More than half of non-EU nationals, and 57% of EU14 nationals had a degree or equivalent level of education, compared to 33% of UK citizens.

In terms of wages, EU14 nationals earned an average of £12.59 an hour, £1.29 more than the national average of £11.30. In comparison, EU8 and EU2 (Bulgarian and Romanian citizens) earnt the lowest at £8.33 per hour.

Speaking on the results of this report, Anna Bodey, Migration Analysis for the Office for National Statistics had this to say,

“Today’s analysis shows the significant impact international migration has on the UK labour market. It is particularly important to the wholesale and retail, hospitality, and public administration and health sectors, which employ around 1.5 million non-UK nationals.

“Migrants from Eastern Europe, Bulgaria and Romania are likely to work more hours and earn 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.”

With a report last week revealing that the Tories plan to charge £2,000 a year per non-EU employee under the immigration skills charge, and no certainty on how migrant work from the EU will play out post-Brexit, these are worrying times for UK industry.

[Tweet “UK Reliance Upon EU Workers in Numbers”]