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Foreign Workers

Volume 463: debated on Wednesday 12 September 2007

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the number of inward migrants to the UK intending to stay for 12 months or more who cited work-related purposes as the main reason for migration in each year for which figures are available; and how many work permit holders were given leave to enter the UK in each year that such data have been collected. (154945)

The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician, who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 10 September 2007:

As National Statistician, I have been asked to respond on behalf of the Chancellor of the Exchequer to your question concerning the number of inward migrants to the UK intending to stay for 12 months or more who cited work-related purposes as the main reason for migration in each year for which figures are available; and how many work permit holders were given leave to enter the UK in each year that such data has been collected.

The estimates of inward migration to the UK of those intending to stay 12 months or more are taken from the International Passenger Survey (IPS) and are shown in the attached table 1. The usual ONS definition of ‘work related’ includes those migrating for business reasons and au pairs, and those with ‘a definite job to go to’ are shown as a separate sub-category. The ONS definitions include a further category for those ‘looking for work’ which are not included in the ‘work related’ category but are shown here for completeness. The data are also broken down by British, European Union and non-EU citizens as work permits are only applicable to non-EU citizens.

Work permit data from the Home Office is shown in the attached Table 2,

Table 1—International Migration: estimates from the International Passenger Survey time series 1991 to 2005Citizenship by reason for migration inflow—United Kingdom

Thousand

of which:

Work-related1

‘Definite job’ to go

Looking for work2

All citizenships

1991

40

25

15

1992

39

28

19

1993

40

24

26

1994

50

38

44

1995

50

44

1996

64

55

40

1997

60

50

39

1998

80

73

55

1999

90

72

61

2000

105

86

53

2001

120

106

47

2002

102

96

59

2003

110

95

57

2004

139

116

72

2005

148

140

76

British

1991

14

12

8

1992

16

15

10

1993

15

11

18

1994

21

21

29

1995

21

21

1996

19

19

22

1997

21

21

25

1998

25

23

29

1999

25

25

30

2000

28

28

30

2001

27

27

24

2002

25

25

29

2003

20

19

25

2004

15

15

22

2005

21

21

25

European Union

1991

11

5

2

1992

7

3

2

1993

7

5

1994

10

8

7

1995

14

12

1996

26

21

6

1997

15

14

3

1998

27

26

6

1999

25

20

8

2000

25

21

2

2001

29

23

3

2002

18

16

6

2003

24

23

11

2004

52

42

13

2005

63

62

26

Non-European Union

1991

15

9

5

1992

16

9

7

1993

17

9

8

1994

19

9

7

1995

15

11

1996

20

16

12

1997

23

15

11

1998

28

24

20

1999

41

27

23

2000

53

37

21

2001

64

56

20

2002

59

55

24

2003

66

52

22

2004

73

59

37

2005

64

57

24

Notes:

1. The ONS definition of ‘work related’ includes those with a ‘definite job’ to go to, au pairs and 'business' reasons but excludes those looking for work, diplomats, military personnel, merchant seaman and flight crews. ‘Looking for work’ is included separately.

2. ‘Looking for work’ is not included in the ONS definition of ‘work related’ but is shown for information. Data are not available for 1995. These are recorded under ‘Other reasons for visit’ which is not shown in the table.

3. Italicised estimates are not statistically robust (defined as standard error > 30%) but have been included for completeness.

4. Full details of country groupings are available in the Notes to tables section of International Migration Series MN no.32 (http://www.statistics.gov.uk/StatBase/Product.asp?vlnk=507)

Table 2—Work permit holders and dependants given leave to enter, excluding EEA and Swiss nationals, 1991-2006

All nationalities 1,2,3,4

Year of admission

Total

Employment for 12 months or more

Employment for less than 12 months5

Dependants of work permit holders

1991

46,920

11,060

21,740

14,120

1992

51,140

9,940

26,320

14,890

1993

48,000

9,350

24,520

14,130

1994

47,500

10,200

23,000

14,300

1995

52,100

11,700

26,100

14,300

1996

58,200

11,400

29,400

17,400

1997

62,975

16,270

27,385

19,320

1998

68,385

20,160

28,020

20,205

1999

76,180

25,090

28,445

22,645

20006

92,050

36,290

30,785

24,970

20016

108,825

50,280

30,785

27,760

2002

120,115

51,525

34,095

34,495

2003

119,180

44,480

36,870

37,830

2004

124,200

42,235

40,420

41,545

2005

137,035

51,165

40,350

45,520

2006

145,120

57,540

39,060

48,515

1 Includes nationals of Austria, Finland and Sweden before 1 January 1994, but excludes them from this date.

2 Includes nationals of Liechtenstein before 1 May 1995, but excludes them from this date.

3 Includes nationals of Switzerland before 1 June 2002, but excludes them from this date.

4 Includes nationals of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia before 1 May 2004, but excludes them from this date.

5 Includes the majority of work permit trainees.

6 A change in procedures may have resulted in some under-recording for the fourth quarter of 2000 and the first quarter of 2001.

Data rounded to the nearest 5, as such the figures may not sum to the totals shown.

Source:

Home Office