Number of EU workers slides before Brexit — data

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

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LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — The number of EU workers in Britain sank in the third quarter by the largest amount since records began, official data showed yesterday ahead of Brexit.

The total of European Union nationals working in Britain fell by 132,000 people to 2.25 million people in the three months to September from a year earlier, the Office for National Statistics said in a statement.

That was the biggest annual decline since the ONS started compiling the data in 1997, and was driven by fewer Eastern Europeans working in Britain.

The overall number of EU workers has now fallen for the last three quarters, down from a high of 2.4 million a year ago.

The news comes amid growing expectation that London could soon agree a Brexit deal with Brussels, ahead of the nation's departure at the end of March.

The ONS added yesterday that the total number of unemployed people in Britain rose 21,000 to 1.38 million people in the third quarter.

The overall jobless rate —which is the proportion of of the workforce that is unemployed — climbed to 4.1 per cent.

That was compared with 4.0 per cent in the prior quarter and 4.3 per cent in the same period of last year.

Meanwhile, average earnings including bonuses grew 3.0 per cent in the three months to September compared with a year earlier, boosting the pound.

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