Bulgarian, Romanian Workers' Number in UK Down in Q1

Bulgaria in EU | May 14, 2014, Wednesday // 13:42|  views

The latest numbers regarding Bulgarian and Romanian migrants to the UK seem to downplay UKIP leader Nigel Farage's concerns over a tidal wave of citizens from both countries. Photo by EPA/BGNES

Some 3000 fewer workers from Bulgaria and Romania are presently in the United Kingdom than in end-2013, the country's Office of National Statistics has revealed.

These numbers suggest a decrease compared to the period before lifting restrictions at the end of last year, when a seven-year EU transitional period for the two countries expired.

A total of 122 000 citizens of Romania and Bulgaria were working in Britain in March 2014, while 125 000 did in December 2013.

Compared to March 2013, the share of population from the two countries has increased by 20% (it was 19 000 less back then), but the greatest surge of migrants was before controls were lifted.

The latest data from the Office of National Statistics comes against expectations of thousands of Bulgarians and Romanians flooding the UK after restrictions on the labor market were dropped on January 1, 2014.

While a ex-UKIP MEP, as quoted by the Guardian, predicted 1.5 million people could come from the two countries to look for work, Nigel Farage's anti-immigration party has even hinted real figures could far exceed that number by claiming that Britain's door is now open to "29 million Bulgarians and Romanians".

About 2.7 million foreign nationals (or slightly under 10 percent) are now part of the UK's workforce of 30 million.

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Tags: Bulgarian, Romanian, workers, Office of National Statistics, UKIP, Nigel Farage, UK


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