EU immigration has lowered below 100,000 for the first time since 2012 and this has worried the UK firms that are already hit by the scarcity of skilled workers. The figures have been revealed by the UK National Statistics Office. Net annual EU immigration was 90,000 for the year ending September. This is the difference of numbers of EU nationals’ arrivals and departures from the UK.
This is the first time since 2012 that the figure of EU immigration has lowered below 100,000, as quoted by the Financial Times. These statistics are substantiating the enhancing evidence that the rate of migration from the EU is lowering constantly. It is forcing the UK firms to look beyond the EU for workers.
The ONS figures also revealed that the net arrivals of non-EU nationals for the year ending September were 205, 000.
Institute of Directors Senior Economist Tej Parikh said that the decrease will enhance the worries of the businesses. This is because the labor market is specifically strained at this juncture, he added. The UK has all-time high job vacancies and historic low rates of unemployment. The firms are scrambling for a pool of talent that is shrinking, said Mr. Parikh.
CBI People and Infrastructure Managing Director Neil Carberry said that it is getting tougher and tougher to recruit the workers needed by businesses. This is even evident with record high rates of employment, he added.
On the other hand, the efforts by businesses to hire workers outside the EU have been made difficult by the ceiling on the monthly Tier 2 visas. These are offered to the skilled workers who are not from the EU. The applications for these visas have far exceeded the supply in February, January, and December. This means several immigrants that include doctors as well have been deprived the visas.