House of Commons Library

Employment by Country of Birth and Nationality

Published Thursday, May 17, 2018

This Commons Library briefing paper analyses data on employment in the UK by country of birth and nationality. The briefing compares data from 1997 to 2018 and explains how figures for employment by nationality can differ to those for employment by country of birth.

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Employment by Nationality

There were 3.54 million people who were not UK nationals employed in the UK in Q1 2018.  The number of non-UK nationals working in the UK fell slightly from the year before.

This was the first annual decrease in employment of non-UK nationals since 2010 and is a marked departure from trends seen in the past few years. Over the three years to Q1 2017, the number of non-UK nationals in the UK increased by around 250,000 per year on average.

There were 28.73 million UK nationals employed in the UK at Q1 2018, up 417,000 on a year ago.

In Q1 2018, 11% of people in employment were non-UK nationals.

Employment by Country of Birth

In Q1 2018 there were 5.64 million people who were born outside the UK in employment. People born outside the UK made up 17.5% of those in employment.

There were 26.63 million people in employment who were born in the UK, who made up the remaining 82.5% of UK employment.

Over the last year the number of people born outside the UK in employment remained at a similar level while the number of people born in the UK in employment grew by 409,000.

Since 1997, the percentage of people working in the UK who were born in other countries, has increased from 7.3% to 17.5%. 

Commons Briefing papers SN07056

Author: Feargal McGuinness

Topic: Employment

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