UK — Official job figures may have underestimated the number of EU nationals working in the UK. Credit EPA, Andy Rain
By Michael Wilkinson, Political Correspondent
31 August 2016 • 9:54am
Up to 800,000 EU nationals who have been working in Britain were not included in official job figures, it has emerged.
In 2013-14, the number of EU nationals with a “live” tax record, which meant they had a job, was 2.54 million, according to an update by HM Revenue and Customs.
A Labour Force Survey for early 2014 set official job statistics at a figure of just 1.75 million.
Jonathan Portes, from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, said: “Short term migration and turnover in the labour market explains much of this, perhaps up to half a million. But even that still leaves a gap of at least 300,000.
“The Office for National Statistics, and the government as a whole, need to look at the reliability of the labour market and population statistics.”
The ONS told The Sun that its survey “estimates” the number of non-UK citizens working in Britain, while HMRC said it would not give a date for when it would publish “live” tax records for the last 12 months.
It came as it emerged that the number of illegal immigration being caught in British rural counties has almost trebled in three years.
Figures obtained and released by the BBC on Tuesday showed arrests of those illegally entering the UK have steadily increased, rising from 7,700 in 2013 to 9,600 in 2015 as the European refugee crisis deepens.
EU immigration to the UK
Just over three million EU-born people currently live in the UK, approximately 1.9 million of whom are employed here.
Over the last five years the rate of immigration from the EU has increased by 51 per cent, while non-EU immigration has fallen eight per cent.
The Migration Observatory figures put this rise down to the introduction of Bulgaria and Romania to the EU. Still, however, the annual number of non-EU immigrants is just higher than those from the EU.
Tags: asylum seekers, benefits, Brexit, Britain, European refugee crisis, illegal immigration, immigration to the UK, jobs, jobs in the UK, labor market, labour market, migrants, NHS, non-UK citizens working in Britain, population statistics, refugees, Syrians, tax records, UK