The number of foreign-born workers in the UK saw its largest fall on record last year, official figures suggest.
Employment data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed there were 795,000 fewer such workers in Britain in the last quarter of 2020 than a year earlier.
The figures suggested that the number of foreign-born residents overall, also including those classed as unemployed or economically inactive, was down by nearly a million.
The data covers a period when the UK suffered among the worst COVID-19 mortality rates in the world and pandemic restrictions pushed its economy into the biggest slump in 300 years.
That helped the unemployment rate climb to a five-year high of 5.1% in the last three months of 2020, according to the ONS figures.
Sectors such as hospitality which had previously employed large numbers of foreign workers have been especially hard hit.
The ONS cautioned that the figures – which come from its regular survey of the labour market rather than its main immigration data, which has been suspended due to the pandemic – should be “used with caution”.
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