Skip to main content

Foreign Workers

Volume 481: debated on Monday 27 October 2008

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster what estimate he has made of the number of foreign workers in employment who have lived in the UK for less than six months. (228442)

[holding answer 20 October 2008]: The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Colin Mowl, dated October 2008:

The National Statistician has been asked to reply to your Parliamentary Question asking for an estimate of the number of foreign workers in employment who have lived in the UK for less than six months. I am replying in her absence. (228442)

Using the latest available Labour Force Survey (LFS) data, that is for April-June 2008, it is estimated that there were 55,000 foreign-born people aged 16 and over in employment who had been resident in the UK for less than six months and were living in private households.

It should be noted that the LFS is a survey of private households only and excludes most kinds of communal establishments, such as hotels and hostels, in which foreign-born workers may also be resident.

As with any sample survey, estimates from the LFS are subject to a margin of uncertainty. In sampling error terms the above estimate is considered to be acceptable as the coefficient of variation (CV) lies between 10 and 20 per cent. The CV indicates the quality of an estimate, the smaller the CV value the higher the quality.

The figure is derived from the LFS microdata which are weighted using the official population estimates published in autumn 2007. They are not entirely consistent with the figures published in the monthly Labour Market Statistics First Release which are weighted using more up-to-date population estimates.