REC response to ONS migration statistics February 2019

Filed under Press release

Thursday, 28 February 2019


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


Commenting on the statistics, Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) director of policy Tom Hadley says:


“The fact that the number of people coming to the UK for work has fallen to the lowest levels since 2014 is concerning at a time when UK firms are already struggling to find candidates to fill vacancies in sectors as varied as technology, health and hospitality. Providing workers from the EU with clarity on what their future working opportunities and rights will look like is a huge priority. 


“Brexit uncertainty, with a lack of clarity on what no deal means for EU citizens working here, coupled with a weak pound is making the UK less attractive to workers from the EU27. Our latest JobsOutlook data tells us that employers have little or no spare capacity which is why an evidence-based immigration strategy is essential. Taking no deal off the table is also a must in order to reassure workers as well as employers.” 




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. Net EU migration for the year ending September 2018 was +57,000, a level last seen in 2009.

Immigration to the UK for all types of work increased between 2012 and the year ending June 2016 to a peak of 312,000, but has fallen to 231,000 for the year ending September 2018 – the lowest level since 2014. This follows a fall in the number of EU citizens arriving to work.


3. The REC is all about brilliant recruitment, which drives our economy and delivers opportunity to millions. As the voice of the recruitment industry, we champion high standards, speak up for great recruiters, and help them grow. Recruitment is a powerful tool for companies and candidates to build better futures for themselves and a strong economy for the UK. Find out more about the Recruitment & Employment Confederation at

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