Fewer Europeans applying to work in the West Midlands

According to Midlands business leaders fewer Europeans have been applying to work in the West Midlands during the last year.

Brexit is the main reason for the decrease in the European citizens coming to work in the West Midlands. Some companies are having hard times and are shutting down.

Marc Taylor, Administrative Recruitment Consultant at the Birmingham based company Driven Recruitment, said:

“We have noticed less European individuals are applying for work within the last two to three months. We can only hope things will improve, as we are awaiting the next stages of the Brexit, no one can know what will happen next. Over the past year the number of individuals contacting for work has fluctuated, mostly due to the companies we hold contracts with do go into shut down periods which leaves people without work for a few weeks at a time”

UK employment rate is at its highest since 1971, according to the Office for National Statistics in their latest UK labour market report. It increased to 74.5% between July and September this year.

This growth is slower than expected and the Brexit vote isn’t the only thing that influences the job market.

Michael Martins, Economist at the Institute of Directors, said:

“Employment is still growing, although slower than expected. This likely has more to do with the UK having reached full employment than the vote to leave the European Union. Slower employment growth looks set to continue in the near future.”

In September there were 146,000 fewer unemployed people compared to a year earlier but the amount of economically inactive people (those who aren’t working and aren’t seeking for a job) grew with 49,000 compared to April to June.

The Office for National Statistics released that the workers in the public sector are decreasing. This summer there were 5.33 million people working in the public sector and 26.44 million employed in the private companies.

Mr Martins from the Institute of Directors said:

“Vacancies are higher now than they were before the financial crisis, but sectors differ. Arts and entertainment have seen vacancies increase since the referendum, likely due to the depreciation of sterling and an increase in foreign visitors. Real estate firms have reduced employment vacancies by 22%, indicating that the commercial property market’s cooling off has started to affect employment.

“As inflation increases, disposable income will likely take a hit. This will place more strain on smaller firms. Larger firms are reducing vacancies and therefore future hiring decisions. This is a trend to keep an eye on as big companies tend to pay more, which helps to bolster consumer confidence, but are also more exposed to global markets and therefore uncertainty surrounding the UK’s future relationship with the EU and the rest of the world.”

In terms of nationality the number of UK citizens working in the country increased by 213,000 in comparison to a year earlier. There are 241,000 more foreigners having a job in Britain, according to the labour market report.

In another release the Office for National Statistics states that the long-term immigration from the EU had been growing since 2012 but now remains on the same level.

Everyone who comes to the UK to work would need to apply for a National Insurance number and meet the required conditions in order to get it.


Article by Denitsa Dimova
Photo: Birmingham Eastside

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