Migrant labour force within the UK’s construction industry: August 2018
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) have published a new report detailing the composition of the labour market for the UK construction industry, with a particular focus on the roles of migrant workers.
The report comprises data from the 2014, 2015 and 2016 Annual Population Surveys (combined into a three-year average) and the 2011 Census, and builds on the findings from an earlier ONS report published in June 2018.
Key findings include: –
- Between 2014 and 2016, just over 2.2 million workers were employed in the UK construction industry.
- Of these, 47% worked in the specialised construction activities sub-sector (e.g., electrical, plumbing, demolition), 37% worked in the construction of buildings sub-sector (e.g., residential, non-residential, commercial) and 15% worked in the civil engineering sub-sector (e.g., roads, railways, bridges).
- Around 7% of all construction workers (165 000 workers) were from an EU27 country (i.e., the EU excluding the UK) whilst 3% (49 000) were from outside the EU. More specifically, 49% were from an EU8 country (Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia) and 29% were from an EU2 country (Bulgaria and Romania) country. In comparison, only 9% of migrant workers in all other industries were reported to be from the EU2.
- Workers born outside the UK accounted for 13% of those working in buildings construction (109 000 workers). More specifically, 8% were from an EU8 or EU2 country, 2% were from other countries within the EU (excluding the UK) and 3% were born outside the EU.
- Migrant workers also accounted for 8% of those working in specialised construction activities (5% from EU8 and EU2 countries, 1% from other EU countries, 3% from non-EU countries), and 7% of those working in civil engineering (3% from EU8 and EU2 countries, 3% from other EU countries, 2% from non-EU countries).
- The concentration of migrant construction workers was highest in London, with 28% of the workforce born in the EU27 (compared with only 13% in all other industries in London) and 7% born outside the EU.
- Workers born outside the UK made up 40% of the construction of buildings workforce in London. More specifically, 28% were from either EU8 or EU2 countries, 5% were from the rest of the EU, and 8% were from outside the EU.
- Despite the construction workforce ageing overall, migrant construction workers were predominantly younger than UK-born workers, with only 18% of those born outside the UK being aged 45 years and over, compared with 47% of those born in the UK.
- In terms of job roles, just over half of all migrant construction workers (51%) were employed in the construction of buildings sub-sector in comparison with 36% of UK-born workers. More specifically, 55% of workers from EU8 and EU2 countries were employed in this sub-sector, as were 50% of non-EU nationals.
- In contrast, only 37% of all non-UK construction workers were employed in specialised construction activities, compared with almost half of all UK-born workers (48%).
- Around 41% of all construction workers were self-employed between 2014 and 2016.
- More than half (56%) of non-UK construction workers were self-employed between 2014 and 2016, compared with 39% of those born in the UK. More specifically, workers from EU8 and EU2 countries were most likely to be self-employed, with 63% and 66% respectively.
For further details, please visit the ONS website to read the full report….