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Migrant Workers

Volume 464: debated on Friday 19 October 2007

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his latest estimates of the number of migrant workers in the UK are in each year from 1997 to 2012; and if he will make a statement. (158565)

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

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 19 October 2007:

As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question about the number of employed people in the United Kingdom who were migrant workers from 1997 to 2012. (158565)

The attached table gives the number of employed people aged 16 and over who were either United Kingdom or foreign born, for the three month period ending June, for each year since 1997 up to 2007. Comparable estimates are not available for 1998 and 2000. Projections of migrant workers to 2012 are not available from either the Labour Force Survey (LFS) nor the National Population Projections.

When interpreting the figures in the table, it is important to bear in mind that the Labour Force Survey (LFS) is not designed to cover everyone who is present in the UK. The survey may undercount the numbers of people who were born overseas for the following reasons:-

The LFS sample covers people living in private households, those in national health service (NHS) accommodation, and students living in halls of residence who have a UK-resident parent. Students living in halls of residence who do not have a UK-resident parent are not covered by the sample.

The LFS does not cover people living in other types of communal establishment (such as hostels, hotels, boarding houses, or mobile home sites).

Individuals living at sampled addresses are generally included in the survey only if they regard the address as their main residence. Those who have been living at the address for less than six months are not eligible to take part in the survey.

The survey results are weighted to estimates of the 'usually resident’ UK population living in private households, NHS accommodation and student halls of residence. The population figures cover long-term international migrants (people who change their country of usual residence for 12 months or more). They do not include people moving to the UK for less than 12 months, nor do they exclude from the usually resident population people moving out of the UK for less than 12 months.

The LFS estimates at this detailed level are only consistent with the UK population estimates published in February and March 2003 and they do not incorporate the more recent population estimates that are used in the headline LFS series.

Estimates are taken from the LFS. As with any sample survey, estimates from the LFS are subject to a margin of uncertainty.

Number of people in employment of working age1 who were born abroad 1997-2007—United Kingdom, not seasonally adjusted

Thousands

Three months ending June each year

All persons2

Born in UK

Born abroad

1997

25,544

23,638

1,904

1999

26,060

24,056

2,003

2001

26,607

24,431

2,169

2002

26,735

24,426

2,305

2003

26,935

24,473

2,460

2004

27,015

24,471

2,544

2005

27,136

24,444

2,687

2006

27,187

24,177

3,009

2007

27,226

23,948

3,269

1 Men aged 16 to 64 and women aged 16 to 59.

2 Includes those who did not state their country of birth.

Notes:

It should be noted that the country of birth question in the LFS:

-excludes those who have not been resident in the UK

-excludes students in halls who do not have a UK resident parent

-excludes people in most other types of communal establishment

(eg hotels, boarding houses, hostels, mobile home sites etc)

-is grossed to population estimates that only include migrants staying for twelve months or more

-microdata is only grossed to population estimates consistent with those published in spring which are significantly lower that the latest population estimates.

Comparable data not available for 1998 and 2000.

Source:

ONS Labour Force Survey (LFS)