Non UK-Born Workers Increase by 1.7 million in Ten YearsFigures released by the Office for National Statistics have shown that the number of non UK-born workers has increased by 1.7 million over the last decade while the number of UK born workers fell by 223,000.
The employment rate of UK born workers has fallen by 2 percent since the first quarter of 2007 while that of non UK born has increased by 1 percent, the ONS said.
Net migration in the year to last September was the highest for 5 years at 242,000, up 96,000 on the previous year. This is close to the record level of 260,000 set in the year to June 2005.
This means that one in five workers in low-skilled occupations in the UK were not born in this country. The data showed a dramatic increase in the proportion of foreign-born workers in low skilled jobs in the last decade, as they account for 20.6 per cent of such roles compared to 9 per cent in 2002.
By far the biggest increase came from immigrants from the Eastern European ‘A8’ countries that joined the European Union in 2004.
The number of low-skilled workers from these countries, which include Poland and the Baltic states, went up from 4,000 in 2002 to 239,000 this year. However there was also a significant increase in low-skilled workers born outside the EU, a number which rose from 212,000 to 353,000.
The number of UK jobs classified as low skilled has hardly changed in the same period, with statisticians putting this number at 3.2 million.
An ONS statistician was quoted as saying ““Each quarter we publish estimates of the number of workers in the UK and the country in which they were born. For the first time we have looked at the skill level of the jobs of these workers and the analysis shows clear differences in the types of jobs depending on where the worker was born. It’s striking that 36 per cent of EU 14 workers are in high skill jobs, compared with only 8 per cent of those born in A8 countries.”
The figures were released on the same day as the overall migration figures, which showed that net migration continued to rise in the year to September 2010. Entry from Eastern Europe showed no sign of abating, with 50,000 more immigrants than last year.
British emigration was unchanged from last year at 43,000 but was still low compared to pre-recession levels.
Net EU migration increased by 40,000 but still represented only 25% of net foreign immigration. Net non EU migration rose by 54,000 to 215,000.
Immigration for formal study has trebled over the last decade. In the year to September 2010 about 241,000 gave their main reason as study, an increase of 30 percent from the previous year.
The number who gave their reason as work related was 190,000, 20% below the peak seen in 2008.