Record number of European workers in the City of London

Data shows that in 2016 almost one in every five workers in the City of London originated from a European country – the highest figure since records began.

The ONS data, requested by the City of London Corporation, shows that 18% of the Square Mile’s workforce derived from the European Economic Area (EEA) in 2016. The proportion of Europeans choosing to work in London’s financial district is the highest ever recorded and has more than doubled from 10 years previously, when Europeans accounted for just 8% of the total.

Looking at the professional services sector specifically, the data reveals that 12% of the City’s workforce derive from Europe – this is more than double the share of four years previously, when European workers in this sector stood at just 5%. Separately, the financial and insurance sector is currently staffed by 13% continental workers, which, compared to the previous decade, when the figure was just 8%, is a significant increase.

As the UK’s departure from the European Union looms, the figures reiterate the need for the UK Government to create a pragmatic immigration policy that will enable firms – both in the City and across the UK – to continue filling these vital jobs.

Policy Chairman of the City of London Corporation, Catherine McGuinness said:

“This data crystalizes the importance of European workers to the UK’s biggest financial centre, and the need for a clear post-Brexit immigration policy.

“Many Europeans are in limbo over their future status here, and firms are unclear as to who they can employ, which is having repercussions on decision-making across the continent.

“Securing a good trade deal without a sound immigration policy would be a hollow victory, so it’s vital this is addressed sooner rather than later.

“At the end of last year Government made progress on EU citizens’ rights, which meant we were able to move to move to Phase 2 of negotiations. We need to continue to build on this momentum.”

The UK’s financial services industry last year provided £72.1 billion in taxes; the single biggest generator of the sector’s contribution to the public purse came from employment taxes, which were valued at £31.4 billion.

Although the number Europeans working in the City had increased, it was the international workforce that held a higher proportion of jobs, accounting for 23% of the Square Mile’s total job count. UK workers in the City accounted for 59% of the workforce.

Sectors like Information and Communications (15%) and Administration and Support (21%) also attracted European workers to the capital’s financial hub.


Notes to Editors:

  • The data was provided by ONS, at the request of the City of London Corporation
  • This data was captured between January-December 2016 and can be found here.

About the City of London Corporation:

  • The City of London Corporation provides local government and policing services for the financial and commercial heart of Britain, the 'Square Mile'. In addition, the City Corporation has three roles:
  • It supports London’s communities by working in partnership with neighbouring boroughs on economic regeneration, education and skills. In addition, the City of London Corporation’s charitable funder, City Bridge Trust, makes grants of around £20 million annually to tackle disadvantage across London.
  • It also helps look after key London heritage and green spaces including Tower Bridge, the Museum of London, Barbican Arts Centre, City gardens, Hampstead Heath, Epping Forest, Burnham Beeches, and important commons in London.
  • It also supports and promotes the ‘City’ as a world-leading financial and business hub, with outward and inward business delegations, high-profile civic events and research-driven policies, all reflecting a long-term approach.

See www.cityoflondon.gov.uk for more details.

Media contact:

Millie Allen, Financial Services Media Officer, City of London Corporation


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