Covid-19 saw all-time highest figures of non-EU workers on payroll

Data discovered by payroll experts, Staffology, reveals that UK, EU and non-EU payroll data varies drastically during the course of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Elizabeth Jenkins-Smalley

Elizabeth Jenkins-Smalley

Editor In Chief at The Executive Magazine

While the UK entered the first lockdown in March 2020 with payroll numbers at 25.7 million that then dropped to 24.9 million by March 2021, non-EU payroll saw figures at 2.12 million in March 2020, steadily growing to 2.14 million by March 2021.

Whilst native UK workers saw a significant decline in payroll numbers, and non-EU experienced growth, EU workers saw the highest month on month decline, experiencing a drop of -1.62% in August 2020 compared to the UK’s decrease of 0.45% in the same month.

The UK’s exit from the EU has also affected decisions to work in the UK, which may give reason to the UK’s drastic difference in payroll. When Brexit finally happened in January 2020, the UK’s payroll number was at 25.7 million. Seeing a consistent decline from this point until April 2021, the data shows that the advent of both Brexit and coronavirus meant the UK’s job market was hit hardest compared to its counterparts. Unlike UK workers, non-EU workers have the highest rates of self-employment and business ownership globally, meaning they weren’t relying on major businesses to survive in order to work.

UK, EU and non-EU quarterly change from May 20 to May 21:

May 2020 – July 2020-0.02%-0.02%+0.28%
August 2020 – October 2020-0.24%-0.69%+0.39%
November 2020 – January 2021-0.30%-0.91%+0.05%
February 2021 – April 2021+0.40%+0.45%+0.81%

Expert technical payroll writer, Caine Bird, said: “Coronavirus and Brexit has created uncertainty in the job market for many years now, something that workers and businesses alike have been forced to adapt to. Our analysis of payroll data from the UK, EU and Non-EU provides us with valuable information on how payroll has differed between them in light of these events.”

Staffology also discovered that since July 2014, non-EU workers have seen a continuous rise in payroll. This data provides insight into not only how differences in government response and Covid regulation has impacted employment figures, but how a pre-pandemic job market looked across these locations.

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