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UK faces labour shortage thanks to weak pound

Staff Writer | March 23, 2017
EU workers are quitting the UK as the Brexit-induced weakness of sterling erodes the value of earnings they send abroad, adding to Britain's existing labour-shortage concerns, the Bank of England warned.
Uk workers shortage
Britain   Labour-shortage concerns
Last year, the UK controversially voted for a divorce from the EU, which saw sterling's value immediately plunge and earnings-squeezing inflation beginning a corresponding march higher.

In its first-quarter agents' summary of business conditions, BoE said some EU workers were departing the UK because the fall in sterling had reduced the value of their repatriated earnings.

"There was little evidence of EU migrant workers leaving the United Kingdom due to its plans to leave the EU," said the central bank, falling short of linking sterling's demise to Brexit.

Figures out last month revealed net migration to the UK had fallen to 273,000 in the year to September, Office for National Statistics data revealed.

This was the first time net migration had fallen below 300,000 in two years, but remained well short of the government's target of 100,000.

That ONS data estimated 268,000 EU citizens had arrived during the period, while 103,000 had departed.

Other ONS figures - for the quarter to 31 December 2016 - showed the number of EU-born workers in the UK had declined by 50,000 to 2.3m.