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Number of migrant hires rises while number of UK nationals in employment falls

One in 10 employers plan to hire migrant workers over the next quarter, despite the dramatic fall in labour demand.

The CIPD and KPMG's Labour Force Survey shows less than two thirds of employers (63%) intend to recruit during this period and the number of UK nationals in employment has fallen since 2008

But the number of non-UK nationals in jobs is rising - and migrant workers now occupy one in 12 jobs in the UK. This is more than double the number recorded in 1997.

Almost a third of private-sector firms (32%) say they have turned to migrants because they find it difficult to fill vacancies with British employees. Almost as many employers in the NHS and education bodies (28%) agree.

Gerwyn Davies, public policy adviser at the CIPD, explained: "So long as this situation prevails, migrant workers will continue to be relatively attractive to UK employers - even in a recession when many British born people are jobless.

"The best way to provide ‘British jobs for British people' is to make Brits better equipped to compete in the jobs market rather than raise barriers to skilled migrants."

But Dave Conder, head of HR at KPMG, added: "As well as recruiting the best British and European talent, employers do need the flexibility to be able to recruit from outside the European Economic Area to fill skills gaps in the workforce."