Surge in number of Brits in work as EU nationals quit and go back home

Official figures yesterday revealed another surge in employment and unemployment at a 43-year low despite Brexit fears.

The number of people in work rose by 42,000 in the three months to June to 32.39 million – 313,000 higher than last summer.

And the Office for National Statistics showed the ‘net’ rise was almost exclusively accounted for by UK nationals getting a job.

The number of UK nationals in work has jumped by 332,000 since June 2017 to almost 28.8 million.
At the same time number of EU nationals in work has fallen by 86,000 in the past year – the largest fall since current records began in 1997 – as Poles and most other eastern Europeans head home.

Only the number of Romanians and Bulgarians in work has gone up in the past year, by 54,000 to a whopping 391,000.



There are also an extra 50,000 Indians with a job than a year ago.

Work and Pensions Secretary Esther McVey said that with the unemployment rate at a 43-year low of 4 per cent “the vibrant jobs market is benefiting people across the board”.

“More families across society are benefiting from the security of a job, with wages also on the increase,” she said.

But business groups warned a ‘Brexodus’ of EU workers was already “hampering firms’ ability to compete”.

CBI employment chief Matthew Percival said: “The Government needs to guarantee that EU workers can continue to work even in a ‘No Deal’ scenario.”

Experts separately warned pay growth – at 2.4 per cent – was “anaemic” despite hopes firms will have to loosen the purse strings if EU staff head home.

But Migration Watch chairman Lord Green countered: “The rise in UK born workers is most welcome. If immigration can be successfully controlled and reduced, this increase is likely to continue.”

The official figures separately revealed the number of zero-hours contracts in use has fallen by 104,000 over the past year to 780,000.

It marks the first substantial fall recorded by the ONS since it began tracking the figures in 2000.

TUC general secretary Frances o’Grady said: “Bosses are finally getting the message that zero-hours contracts are legalised exploitation.”

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