HR Policy Global

BEERG Newsletter - Brexit: Labour market struggles

Brexit has resulted in the loss of 330,000 workers from the UK economy, according to new research published last week. The data published by the UK in a Changing Europe and Centre for European Reform thinktanks revealed that in September 2022, there were 460,000 fewer workers of EU-origin in the UK than if the UK had remained in the bloc, only partially offset by an increase of about 130,000 non-EU workers. The net loss of workers amounts to around 1% of the labour force. 

Hard-hit sectors include transportation and storage, wholesale and retail, accommodation and food, manufacturing, construction, and administration. 

“Our analysis suggests that, although migration overall is currently running at least at pre-pandemic levels, the post-Brexit migration system has produced, as designed, a clear break with pre-Brexit trends, reducing labour supply for some sectors,” said Professor Jonathan Portes and John Springford. 

The number of EU citizens in the UK has fallen dramatically. Around 43,000 EU citizens received visas for work, family or study in 2021, compared to the annual figure of between 230,000 and 430,000 in each of the six years before it left the EU, according to the UK’s Office for National Statistics. 

Meanwhile, the UK’s House of Commons library has produced a report on the EU’s entry/exit system and travel authorisation system.


Published on: January 25, 2023

Authors: Tom Hayes

Topics: The UK and European Union

Tom Hayes

Director of European Union and Global Labor Affairs, HR Policy Association

Detailed Bio

Contact Tom Hayes LinkedIn


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