Numbers of Bulgarian and Romanian workers have gone down even after visa restrictions being lifted

The number of Romanian and Bulgarian people working in Britain has fallen since visa restrictions were lifted at the start of 2014, according to the latest government figures.

A new report from the Office of Statistics says that only a fewer workers from Bulgaria and Romania are presently in the United Kingdom, to end of 2013. Only 4000 workers have increased than the last quarter’s total.

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 labour market were dropped on January 1, 2014.

UKBA

UKBA

These numbers clearly indicate a decline in the number 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 125000 citizens of Romania and Bulgaria worked in Britain in December 2013. There are 122000 working in Britain in March 2014. 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.

While a ex-UKIP MEP 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.

Sharanya Bharathwaj

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