The number of EU citizens working in the U.K. saw its largest drop in five years during the last three months of 2016, according to a new report from the Office of National Statistics (ONS).
The ONS said Wednesday the number of EU workers dropped by 50,000 to 2.3 million in the last quarter of the year which has stoked fears of a labor shortage in Britain. The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), a lobby group for the human resources sector, reported Monday that a skills shortage was "starting to bite" with business sectors that employed a high number of EU nationals being particularly vulnerable.
However, given the data was not seasonally adjusted the ONS advised the numbers should be treated with caution. The U.K.'s public sector was found to be the most exposed with 43 percent of education bosses and almost half of health care sector employers indicating that they believed "EU migrants among their workforce were considering leaving their organization and/or the U.K. in 2017."