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Foreign Workers: Eastern Region

Volume 467: debated on Thursday 15 November 2007

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people who have entered the UK in the last 10 years are included in the figures for employment in (a) the East of England and (b) Suffolk. (162588)

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

Letter from Colin Mowl, dated 15 November 2007:

The National Statistician has been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question about the number of people who entered the UK in the last ten years are included in the figures for employment in (a) the East of England and (b) Suffolk. I am replying in her absence. (162588)

The table attached gives the number of people resident of working age in East of England and Suffolk who entered the UK in the last ten years; and of those who are in employment for the three months ending June 2007.

When interpreting these figures, 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. The reasons are set out in the table footnote.

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 labour market series.

The data for analysing migrant workers comes from the LFS. The National Statistics method for estimating the number of migrant workers employed in the UK is routinely based on the number of people at a given time who were born abroad, are of working age (16-64 for men, 16-59 for women), and in employment. This question has been answered on this basis.

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

People of working age1 who were born overseas and came to the UK in the last 10 years, living in Suffolk and East of England, and in employment, United Kingdom, not seasonally adjusted


Three months ending June 2007

Total foreign born population

In employment

Employment rates2





East of England




1 Includes men aged 16-64 and women aged 16-59.

2 In employment as a percentage of total population.


It should also be noted that the country of birth question in the LFS is an undercount because:

it excludes those who have not been resident in the UK for 6 months.

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

it excludes people in most other types of communal establishments (eg hotels, boarding

houses, hostels, mobile home sites, etc).

it is grossed to population estimates that only include migrants staying for 12 months or more.

microdata is only grossed to population estimates consistent with those published in spring 2003 which are significantly lower than the latest population estimates.


ONS Labour Force Survey (LFS)