Post-referendum fall in EU migration will hit employers at Christmas – REC

Today’s migration statistics published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) is the first full-year set of data since the EU referendum. It shows a fall in NET migration, driven by a fall in immigration and a rise in emigration by EU citizens. Commenting, Recruitment & Employment Confederation director of policy Tom Hadley says:

“The news that more people from the EU are leaving the country and fewer are coming to the UK will be a concern for employers and should be a concern for government. Our data shows that candidate availability has been falling for four years. Employers will find roles even harder to fill as fewer people are coming to look for work. We need warehouse workers to pack up our deliveries, drivers to transport goods, and chefs and waiters in our restaurants. Employers will be hit hard at Christmas and no doubt the consumer will feel the effect as they end up paying more for products and services.

“The UK currently has a vibrant temporary labour market but as EU workers no longer feel welcome here it is under threat. We need this country to be an attractive place to work and live, which means the government needs to ramp up efforts on a Brexit deal that provides clarity for EU workers and assures them that they are valuable to this country. Post-Brexit immigration arrangements must also cater for temporary and seasonal workers to allow them to continue supporting the many sectors of our economy that rely on them.”


Notes to editors:

1. For more information, contact the REC Press Office on 0207 009 2157/2192 or An ISDN line is available for interviews on 0207 021 0584.
2. Overall NET migration has fallen by 106,000 from +336,000 in year ending June 2016 to +230,000 in year ending June 2017. This is driven by a fall of 82,000 NET migration amongst EU citizens (year ending June 2016 equals +189,000; year ending June 2017 equals +107,000).
The 80,000 decrease in immigration included a 54,000 fall of EU citizens (down to 230,000); EU emigration increased by 28,000 to 123,000 in year ending June 2017.
There was a 58 per cent drop in EU citizens specifically migrating to look for work.
The full ONS statistical release is available at:
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