Are Romanians and Bulgarians really stealing all our jobs? The latest figures suggest otherwise

The number of Romanians and Bulgarians working in the UK has fallen

 

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Today the latest employment figures were announced, and guess what? It seems like Romanians and Bulgarians aren't as good at stealing jobs as some have claimed they are.

When restrictions on immigration from the two countries were lifted at the start of the year, some of the numbers being thrown around foreshadowed some sort of biblical immigrant "flood".

One Ukip MEP estimated 1.5m Romanians would be flocking to the UK. The think tank Migrant Watch estimated that 50,000 would be entering the country every year once the gates were opened.

A Ukip leaflet distributed last year implied that it could be even more. "The EU will allow 29 million Bulgarians and Romanians to come to the UK," it said.

And according to one poster put out by the party recently, 26m Europeans are all after your job. Yes, you - your job! I'd give your HR department a heads up - that's a lot of cover letters.

However, the latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show that the number of Romanians and Bulgarians in the UK work force has actually dropped since border controls were lifted on January.

In the last quarter of 2013, there were 144,000 employed in the UK, while there are now 140,000 - a decrease of 4,000.

There was actually a much greater increase in the first quarter of 2013, when the restrictions were still in place.

In fact, it has been suggested that the reason behind the drop has been because Romanians and Bulgarians have been immigrating a lot more to some of the other EU countries who opened their gates in January.

According to a BBC Newsnight poll of Romanians intending to work in another EU country last April, 30% wanted to go to Italy, 24% to Germany and just 16% to the UK.

You can see the dip for yourself in this graph:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

@maxbenwellreal

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