Nearly 1.5 million workers leave Britain

In 2020, Britain’s population decreased by 1.3 million, which may be attributed to the “unprecedented mass exodus” of foreign workers, according to a recent study by a British statistical centre.

ECONOMY JANUARY 17. 2021 14:40

In 2020 the UK suffered its largest population drop since World War II. A study by the Research Institute for Economic Statistics Center of Excellence revealed that the country s population shrank by 1.3 million last year.

The authors of the study point out that the main reason for the drastic population decline is the “unprecedented exodus” of foreign workers, because they have lost their jobs during the economic crisis caused by the pandemic.

“So it seems that much of the burden of job losses during the pandemic has fallen on non-UK workers and has manifested itself in return migration, rather than unemployment,” the study says.

It also reveals that the employment of mainly European immigrants is disproportionately high in areas such as hospitality, as well as other service sectors that require face-to-face contact, which have been adversely affected by the pandemic-related restrictions.

The study shows that immigrants, particularly from eastern, central and south-eastern Europe, had two options during the pandemic: to either stay in the UK without a job and less or no money, whilst having to pay for relatively expensive rental properties, or they could decide to return to their family to reduce their costs as well as the risk of getting infected by the novel coronavirus. Another factor in the UK s significant population decline, the study suggests, is that many universities have switched to digital and online education, which also contributed to many foreign students deciding to return home.

Although the study does not specifically address the effects of Brexit, researchers believe that the UK s divorce from the bloc has certainly contributed to the departure of people en masse.

ECONOMY

Tags:

employers, migration, pandemic, population, united kingdom