In Brief

EU migrant numbers set new UK record

With unemployment low and falling, demand for foreign labour remains strong

The number of EU nationals working in the UK is at a record high as migrants seek to enter the country before Brexit.

The latest employment figures from the Office for National Statistics reveal the proportion of non-UK nationals employed in the country has risen from 3.5 per cent to 11.1 per cent in just over 20 years.

The increase has been driven in large part by those coming from eastern Europe in search of work, with the number of Romanian and Bulgarian nationals working in the country up by more than 200,000 in three and a half years.

By contrast, ONS labour market statistics show the number of migrants from 14 longer-standing members of the EU - including France, Italy, Spain and Portugal - working here has fallen below one million for the first time since the beginning of 2016.

The figures suggest that, with full employment in the UK, "there remains a strong demand for migrant workers and that this will continue while the economy remains strong", says The Times.

Despite the positive employment figures, the Daily Telegraph emphasises the number of unemployed people in the UK who are migrants - one in six. It cited experts who suggest there could be a "surge of migrants" before Britain formally leaves the EU in March 2019.

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