Statisticians can cause quite a stir just by being honest. Yesterday the Office for National Statistics (ONS) published the latest employment figures. They show that in the past 12 months the employment of British workers has fallen by about 250,000 while the number of foreign workers has gone up by about 200,000.
Does this show that foreigners are taking “British” jobs and, if so, was the ONS right to publish the analysis on the very day that it also published figures showing unemployment within an ace of two million? ….
…There is also an important distinction between non-UK-born and non-UK nationals.
Economic migrants who have become British citizens are, of course, in the former category. The Government uses this to its advantage, with the Prime Minister saying that non-UK nationals were 8 per cent of the workforce, which sounds better than the 13 per cent who are not UK-born. In the present case both measures show a decline in British employment and a slightly smaller increase in foreign employment.