Britain sees largest drop in EU workers for 5 years, fueling fears of a labor shortage

Britain sees largest drop in EU workers for 5 years, fueling fears of a labor shortage
Britain sees largest drop in EU workers for 5 years, fueling fears of a labor shortage

"The figures also offer further evidence that Brexit has had a discernable impact on the allure of the U.K. as a place to live and work," Gerwyn Davies, a labor market advisor at the CIPD, said a note.

"As a result, employers in sectors that employ relatively large numbers of EU nationals, which also account for a sizable proportion of vacancies, are likely to come under further recruitment pressures if, as we expect, this trend continues," he concluded.

U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May has thus far refused to guarantee the rights of EU nationals working in Britain before formal Brexit negotiations begin.

May is on track to adhere to her self-imposed pledge to begin exit talks with the rest of the bloc before April, given that Britain's lower house gives approval of the government's so-called Brexit bill on February 8.

The data on Wednesday also showed Britain's unemployment rate held steady at 4.8 percent in the three months to December of 2016, its lowest rate in over a decade.

CNBC

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