Number of Romanians and Bulgarians working in Britain up 15% in a year to 103,000 even before restrictions are lifted
- Statistics on workers for the two countries published for the first time
- Temporary limits on employment to end by 2014
- Government promised curbs on benefits and housing for immigrants
The number of Romanian and Bulgarian workers in Britain has jumped by 15 per cent over the past year to a record 112,000 – even though they cannot yet work freely in the UK.
Some 14,000 extra people from the former Eastern bloc states found jobs last year – equal to 38 people every day, data from the Office for National Statistics revealed yesterday.
It comes amid fears of a huge influx of Romanians and Bulgarians next year when the restrictions on their rights to work in Britain are lifted.
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The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has for the first time published a breakdown of Romanians and Bulgarians in employment, an annual rise of nearly 15%.
Bulgarians and Romanians will this year gain the same rights to work in the UK as other EU citizens.
This has sparked concerns about a rise in migration from the two countries.
In response to the end of the temporary work restrictions, the UK government is considering limiting migrants access to benefits, healthcare and housing.
The ONS published its regular employment statistics with a new breakdown of data showing where foreign workers were from – with those originating in recent European Union (EU) accession countries such as Poland in a separate category to more established nations such as France and Spain.
It also separated out workers from Romanian and Bulgarians in response to "customer demand".