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Foreign Workers

Volume 470: debated on Tuesday 8 January 2008

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how many people born abroad have gained employment in the UK since 1997. (174395)

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

Letter from Colin Mowl, dated 7 January 2008:

The National Statistician has been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question about the number of people who were born abroad and have gained employment in the United Kingdom since 1997. I am replying in her absence.

Between the second quarter of 1997 and the second quarter of 2007 there was an increase of 1.4 million foreign-born workers of working age in employment in the UK. The data to support this response was provided in PQ478 (Hansard ref 464 Column 1535) sent to Mr David Laws on 17th October 2007. This figure was also recently published in the Statistics Commission briefing ‘Foreign Workers in the UK’

The data for analysing migrant workers comes from the Labour Force Survey. The National Statistics method for estimating the number of migrant workers employed in the UK is 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.

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.

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