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The number of foreign-born workers in the UK recorded the largest decline last year, according to official statistics.

Employment data released by the Office of Statistics (ONS) showed that in the last quarter of 2020, there were 795,000 fewer such workers in the UK than a year ago.

This figure suggests that the number of foreign-born residents overall, including those classified as unemployed or economically inactive, has declined by nearly one million.

This data covers the period of time when the UK suffered from the world’s worst COVID-19 mortality rate and the economy fell into the biggest downturn in 300 years due to epidemic restrictions.

This helped the unemployment rate hit a five-year high of 5.1% over the last three months of 2020, according to ONS figures.

Areas such as hospitality, which previously employed large numbers of foreign workers, have been particularly hit.

ONS warned that figures from regular surveys of the labor market, rather than key immigration data halted due to the epidemic, should be “used with caution.”

That’s because the assumptions behind it are based on epidemic epidemic trends and the way data is collected has changed.

But Jonathan Portes, professor of public policy at Kings College London, told Reuters that “there’s no doubt we’ve seen a leak of unprecedented people in recent history.”

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He said the way ONS calculates the data could mean it is underestimating the numbers.

This figure shows that there are over 5 million foreign workers in the UK in the three months through December. This is a decrease from 5.8 million a year ago.

Workers in the UK, originally from the EU, accounted for the majority of the decline, from about 500,000 to about 1.9 million.

People from outside the EU have declined by about 3.1 million to less than 300,000.

According to ONS data dating back to 1997, the number of foreign workers in the UK actually plummeted after peaking at less than 5.9 million in early 2020.

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