By Fiona Morrill, Financial Services Research Officer in the Economic Development Office
Our research programme for this year focuses on why the City remains a world-leading location for businesses and workers, and new data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveals just how international the City’s workforce is, and how this has changed over time.
In 2016, 41% of City workers were born outside the UK, equivalent to just over 2 in 5. This is a significant jump from 2004 (the start of records), when 26% had been born outside the UK.
The data also allows us to look at the share of workers who come from the European Economic Area (EEA), and workers from the rest of the world. While the share of workers born in the rest of the world has stayed relatively consistent over time, rising from 19% in 2004 to 23% in 2016, growth has been driven by EEA workers, the share of which has risen from 7% to 18%, over the same period.
We can also look at how this varies by sector, to get a sense of how important EEA and international workers are to key City sectors. The chart below shows that a third of the City’s combined financial and professional services workforce were born overseas, rising to 38% for information and communications, and over half in administrative and support services.
The data shows the importance of international talent to the City, and particularly how links between the UK and the rest of the EEA have deepened over the past twelve years. Going forward, a key concern for the City of London will be how to preserve these links, and to continue making the case for a clear post-Brexit immigration policy, to ensure the City remains a world leading global financial and professional services centre.
 The EEA includes EU countries and also Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway