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Foreign Workers: West Midlands

Volume 473: debated on Monday 17 March 2008

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what his most recent estimate is of the number of migrant workers in (a) Tamworth constituency, (b) Staffordshire and (c) the West Midlands in each of the last five years. (193599)

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

Letter from Karen Dunnell, dated 17 March 2008:

As National Statistician, I have been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question on what the most recent estimate is of the number of migrant workers in (a) Tamworth constituency, (b) Staffordshire and (c) the West Midlands in each of the last five years. (193599)

The Office for National Statistics compiles statistics on migrant workers for local areas from the Annual Labour Force Survey (LFS) and the Annual Population Survey (APS) . 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. It means, for example, that some people who are UK nationals will be included in the total of “foreign born” and that people who are working but are above state pension age are not included.

The table attached shows the numbers of working age in employment who were not born in the UK and were resident in Tamworth Parliamentary constituency, Staffordshire and the West Midlands. The figures cover, the twelve month periods ending in February for 2003 and, 2004 from the annual LFS, and ending in March for 2005, 2006, and 2007 as well as June 2007 from the APS. The July to June 2007 APS dataset is the most recent for which figures are available, whereas a consistent time series is best provided using March and February data.

When interpreting these figures, it is important to bear in mind that the APS 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.

As these estimates are for a subset of the population in small geographical areas they are based on small sample sizes, and are therefore subject to large margins of uncertainty.

APS estimates at this detailed level are only available consistent with population estimates published in February and March 2003 and are not comparable with the estimates published in the Labour Market Statistics First Release on 13 February 2008, which are based on latest population estimates.

Number of non-UK born persons in employment in West Midlands, Staffordshire and Tamworth constituency in the last five years


Migrant Workers1

12 months ending

West Midlands



February 2003




February 2004




March 2005




March 2006




March 2007




June 2007




1 Includes males aged 16-64 and females aged 16-59. Does not include respondents who did not answer the question on country of birth.

2 Numbers in this cell are too small and could be disclosive.


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

2. It should also be noted that the country of birth question in the APS may undercount the number of people who were born overseas:

it excludes certain people who have been resident in the UK for less than six months.

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

it excludes people in most other types of communal establishments (e.g. hotels, boarding houses, hostels, mobile home sites, etc.).

it is grossed to population estimates that exclude migrants staying for less than 12 months.

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


Annual Labour Force Survey/Annual Population Survey.