Steven Swinford, Telegraph, February 15, 2017
Nearly 450,000 more migrants are working in the UK while the number of British-born people in work has fallen by 120,000, according to new figures.
The Office for National Statistics disclosed that the number of migrants working in Britain has increased by 431,000 to 5.4 million over the past year.
Over the same period the number of British people in work has fallen to 26.37 million.
The report said: “For October to December 2016, there were 5.54 million people born abroad working in the UK, but the number of non-UK nationals working in the UK was much lower at 3.48 million.”
The number of EU-born citizens working in the UK rose by 190,000 to 2.24 million, the Office for National Statistics found.
It also found that the number of non-UK nationals working in the UK increased from just over 1 million to 3.48 million and that the proportion of non-UK nationals working in the UK increased from 3.8% to 10.9%.
The ONS concluded: “This increase in non-UK nationals working in the UK reflects the admission of several new member states to the European Union.”
The figures are also thought to reflect the retirement of older UK-born citizens.
ONS research also found that a record number of people are in work following another fall in unemployment to rates not seen for a decade.
More than 31.8 million adults have a job – 300,000 more than a year ago – after a quarterly rise of 37,000, while unemployment fell by 7,000 to just under 1.6 million.
That figure is the lowest since the start of 2006, giving a jobless rate of 4.8%, one of the lowest in Europe.
The ONS reported that the number of people on the so-called claimant count fell by 42,400 in January to 745,000, the biggest monthly fall since the autumn of 2013.
It said the claimant count figures were likely to be volatile because of the complexities of rolling out Universal Credit, which was launched in 2013 to replace a number of benefits, including Jobseeker’s Allowance.
The proportion of people working in the UK accounted for by non-UK nationals has increased from 3.8% to 10.9% since 1997.
ONS senior statistician David Freeman said: “Continued moderate growth in employment has led to a new high in the total employment rate, while the rate for women has reached 70% for the first time on record.
“Overall, the labour market appears to be edging towards full capacity.”
The number of people classed as economically inactive has fallen by 31,000 to 8.8 million, a rate of 21% of the working population.
The figure includes students, people looking after a relative, on long-term sick leave, taken early retirement or who have given up looking for work.
The number of people in full-time work has increased by 218,000 over the past year to 23 million, while part-time employment has risen by 84,000 to 8.5 million.
The UK’s employment rate of 74.6% is the highest since records began in 1971.
Secretary of State, Damian Green said: “With employment at its highest rate since records began, and unemployment at its lowest in over a decade, we remain in a position of strength.
“Our on-going welfare reforms will continue to incentivise work and make sure the system is fair to all those who need it and those who pay for it.
“With youth unemployment down, women in work at record levels and number of disabled people in work increasing too, we’re delivering on our pledge to build a country that works for everyone.”