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.Jump to full report >>
In April-June 2019, there were 3.66 million people working in the UK who were not UK nationals, 11.2% of all people in employment. This included:
The remaining 29.08 million people in employment (88.8%) were UK nationals.
The number of people working in the UK who were not UK nationals increased by 133,000 in the year to April-June 2019. The number of EU nationals in work increased by 99,000, and the number of non-EU nationals in work increased by 34,000.
The number of EU nationals working in the UK is currently at its highest ever level. The number of non-UK nationals and non-EU nationals working in the UK are currently close to their highest ever levels.
There was a 298,000 increase in the number of UK nationals in work.
The number of non-UK nationals who are employed in the UK was around four times higher in April-June 2019 than it was in 1997. The share of all people in employment who are non-UK nationals has increased from 3.7% to 11.2%.
Since 2012 there have generally been increases in the number of non-UK nationals in employment. The exception was in the first three quarters of 2018, when the number of non-UK nationals in employment fell compared with the year before.
In April-June 2019, there were 5.78 million people in employment who were born outside the UK, 17.6% of all people in employment. This included:
The remaining 26.97 million people in employment (82.3%) were born in the UK.
The increase in the number of people in work in the year to April-June 2019 was 180,000 for those born outside the UK, while the number born in the UK increased by 246,000. Employment for those born outside the EU increased by 91,000, while employment for people born in other EU countries increased by 88,000.
The number of employed people who were born outside the UK is close to its highest ever level.
In April-June 2019, the employment rate for non-UK nationals was less than the rate for UK nationals. The employment rate for UK nationals was 76.1%, compared to 75.0% for all non-UK nationals.
However, employment rates vary significantly depending on which country a non-UK national comes from.
Nationals of other EU countries had an employment rate of 83.3%, compared to 63.4% for non-EU nationals.
Commons Briefing papers SN07056
Author: Andy Powell