6 things worth knowing about today's net migration figures

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Today the ONS published the latest Migration Statistics Quarterly Report. Here are 6 things worth knowing about today’s figures.

1. Net long-term international migration was +248,000 in 2016, this is a fall of 84,000 from 2015. Looking at immigration vs emigration – immigration was 43,000 lower than in 2015 and emigration was 40,000 higher.

 

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2. These figures include the 6 months post-referendum, therefore offer the first official insight into the impact that the referendum result may have had on net migration.

 

3. The net migration change was largely driven by an increase in emigration, up 40,000 from 2015, mainly from EU citizens. While we have received some feedback from manufacturers that EU nationals have left their workforce, to date this has limited.

 

4. Work remains the most common reason for international migration and the majority had a definite job. Forthcoming research EEF shows that manufacturers recruit EU nationals to fill job vacancies across the manufacturing workplace.

 

5. Long-term immigration to study saw a significant decrease too. This chimes with figures and indeed concerns from UCAS who reported a decline in university application figures largely driven by a fall in applications from EU students.

 

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6. The number of visas for non-EU students for 12 months saw a 3% rise. Our global higher education institutions rely heavily on non-EU students particularly for STEM students. Without them, the pool of graduate talent available to manufacturers would significantly decrease (and it’s already very hard to recruit non-EU graduates because there is no longer a post-study work route!)

 

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Head of Education & Skills Policy

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