Record number of EU nationals working in Britain

New figures confirm that the number of EU nationals working in the UK has climbed to a record level.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has calculated that 2.38million employees started work in the three months to September.

This was 112,000 more than in the equivalent quarter of 2016 and brings the number to the highest total recorded in 20 years of record keeping.

Much of the growth has been fuelled by workers from Romania and Bulgaria, which became member states a decade ago.

Today the UK employs 347,000 workers from the two Eastern European countries – a figure almost equivalent to the total population of Stoke on Trent.

However, the number of employees from nations which joined the bloc in 2004 – including Poland, Estonia and Slovenia – has fallen over the same period.

ONS officials have stressed that the latest figures are only indicative of conditions within the employment market and not overall migration.

Matt Hughes, an ONS senior statistician, said: “The number of non-UK nationals in work is still rising, albeit more slowly than in the last couple of years.

“However, this is being driven by EU citizens; the number of non-EU nationals working in the UK has fallen in the last year.”

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