REC response to latest ONS Migration Statistics

Filed under Press release

Thursday, 23 August 2018


Today’s migration statistics published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show a fall in net EU migration, driven by a fall in EU citizens coming to the UK.

Commenting, Recruitment & Employment Confederation director of policy Tom Hadley says: 


‘The UK labour market is already tight with employers and recruiters struggling to fill vacancies across a range of sectors. Today’s immigration figures show that the UK is still attracting fewer EU nationals here to work than before the referendum, a decline to the lowest level in nearly 5 years.

‘Ongoing uncertainty on what the exit deal with the EU will look like and a weaker pound are contributing to making the UK less appealing to EU workers to come here and work. For our jobs market to thrive, UK employers need a comprehensive mobility and migration deal with the EU post-Brexit to ensure that private and public sector organisations can continue to secure the permanent, temporary and seasonal workers they need to be successful.

‘The UK immigration system shouldn’t be based on arbitrary quotas, but based on the contribution individual workers come to make. Severely reducing the number of EU workers coming to the UK will make British firms less competitive which will dampen growth and limit national prosperity for us all.’



Notes to editors: 
1. For more information, contact the REC Press Office on 0207 009 2157/2192 or An ISDN line is available for interviews on 0207 021 0584.

2. Annual Net EU migration fell 36,000 from +123,000 in year ending March 2017 to +87,000 in year ending March 2018. 

Annual EU Immigration for work-related reasons (i.e. for a ‘definite job’ or ‘looking for work’) fell 37,000 from 157,000 in year ending March 2017 to 120,000 in year ending March 2018. This was driven by a decrease of 24,000 in EU citizens coming to the UK for a definite job and a decrease of 13,000 in EU citizens coming to the UK looking for work. This is the lowest level of Annual EU immigration for work-related reasons since year ending June 2013.


3. Jobs transform lives, which is why we are building the best recruitment industry in the world. As the professional body for recruitment we’re determined to make businesses more successful by helping them secure the people they need. We are absolutely passionate and totally committed in this pursuit for recruiters, employers, and the people they hire. Find out more about the Recruitment & Employment Confederation at

Back to top
Award winning services AEA award logoAssociation Excellence Awards 2017MemCom 2017 Awards