Employment in the United Kingdom
When we discuss the economy of the United Kingdom, we refer to the sum of the economies of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.
The economy of the UK is one of the largest globally. Measured by Gross Domestic Product (GDP) the UK is the fifth in size (2023). The British mechanical engineer James Watt’s invention of the steam engine spurred the UK’s role as catalyst of the 18th century industrial revolution.
The main industries in the UK are finance, energy, transport and steel. Notably, pre-Brexit the financial services industry in London contributed substantially to the UK economy.
In 2022, the total population of the United Kingdom is estimated at approximately 68 million. London alone counts for some 9.5 million inhabitants. Almost five percent of the population is of Indian and Pakistani descent.
At certain points in history the UK experienced a large influx of immigrants. In 1850 the Irish Potato Famine resulted in extensive migration to the UK. After the Second World War many of the UK’s colonies became independent, this was followed by a significant increase of migration from India and Pakistan. The 1950s and 60s were a time of economic growth and jobs were abundant in the United Kingdom.
The economic crisis, that started in 2008, left the UK in a severe recession. At the end of 2009 the unemployment rate in the UK hit its peak at 2.5 million. One of the key austerity measures of the British government was to downsize the number of civil servants. Continuing decrease of government employed workers continue to play an important role in the UK’s unemployment statistics.
The UK does not have the Euro as its currency, but the British Pound (GBP). There has been much debate in the UK as to whether staying with the British Pound is the right choice from an economic point of view. As the UK left the European Union in 2020, the choice for the British Pound is definite.
Working in the UK
The United Kingdom is not in the European Union and therefore does not participate in the EU Blue Card program
If you are a non-EU national and interested in working in the UK, there are government agencies listed below that can provide you with detailed information.
UK Visa and immigration office
UK Employment office