EU Nationals Flee U.K. Workforce as Covid Crushes Hospitality
The number of European Union citizens working in the U.K. shrank to the lowest since 2015 as the hospitality industry buckled.
Employment of EU nationals dropped by 284,000 in the second quarter as the Covid-19 crisis prompted the U.K.’s biggest slump since the global financial meltdown, the Office for National Statistics said Tuesday.
While the latest decline is due to the coronavirus, it comes amid heightened uncertainty for EU citizens since the U.K. left the bloc this year.
A transition period that retains free movement of people for now will expire at the end of December. With talks on a trade deal making glacial progress, the British economy could be headed for another shock.
EU citizens make up a greater proportion of staff in Britain’s accommodation and food services than any other industry, and have seen that sector among the hardest hit by a pandemic that shuttered many businesses and prevented people from traveling.
The hospitality industry posted the biggest drop in jobs, with almost 137,000 jobs lost in the three month period, the ONS said.
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