House of Commons Library

Employment by Country of Birth and Nationality

Published Thursday, August 16, 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 3.55 million people who were not UK nationals employed in the UK in Q2 2018.

The number of people working in the UK who were not UK nationals fell by 11,000 in the year to April-June 2018. The number of EU nationals fell by 86,000, which was the largest annual fall since comparable records began in 1997. This was offset by an increase in the number of employed non-EU nationals.

This 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 28.76 million UK nationals employed in the UK at Q2 2018, up 332,000 on a year ago.

In Q2 2018, 11% of people in employment were non-UK nationals.

Employment by Country of Birth

In Q2 2018 there were 5.62 million people who were born outside the UK in employment. People born outside the UK made up 17.4% of those in employment.

There were 26.69 million people in employment who were born in the UK, who made up the remaining 82.6% of UK employment.

The number of people in employment who were nationals of other EU countries fell by 58,000 in the year to April-June 2018. This was the first annual decrease in employment of people born outside the UK since 2010. 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 7.5% to 17.4%. 

Commons Briefing papers SN07056

Author: Andy Powell

Topic: Employment

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