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COVID-19 caused decline of London's labour market, exodus of migrant workers: UK Think Tank

Nov 19, 2020

London [UK], November 19 (ANI/Sputnik): The coronavirus pandemic has hit London's labour market harder than the rest of the United Kingdom, causing a mass departure of foreign-born workers for the period of lockdowns, according to a study by UK-based think tank Centre for London and King's College London, released on Thursday.
"The number of employees has declined sharply in recent months, and much more so in London than in the rest of the UK. Early estimates for October 2020 indicate that there were four million payrolled employees, five per cent fewer than the same period of the previous year - a loss of 200,000 jobs," the report read.
According to findings, foreign-born migrants have accounted for a particularly big part of the drop, especially in London, where 35 per cent of foreign-born UK residents lived in 2019.
"The pandemic has led to an astonishing and unprecedented exodus of migrant workers from the UK, with the foreign-born population falling by more than 800,000. London's workforce has almost certainly shrunk by hundreds of thousands," Jonathan Portes, a professor of economics at King's College, was quoted as saying.
According to the expert, this departure of foreign workers is not surprising given that many would likely prefer to return to their home countries during the lockdown rather than pay costly London rent fees.
Porters believes this may actually benefit the UK capital's labour market at the moment, reducing the figures on unemployment and poverty, but also drag its recovery after the pandemic by creating shortage of labor and skill. (ANI/Sputnik)