The post credit crunch squeeze on the UK economy does appear to be encouraging more Eastern Europeans to call it a day and return home according to the latest information produced by the official statisticians at ONS.

This does fit with the anecdotal evidence which suggests that the weak pound and better opportunities at home have made many foreign workers reconsider their stay in the UK.

That said, the flow of Eastern Europeans into the UK still outweighs the numbers leaving, although the figures show that fewer are attracted to the these shores than was the case pre credit crunch. But these figures would suggest that the foreign workforce is not shrinking.

And the workforce figures produced from the Labour Force Survey do point to the numbers of overseas workers in the UK up more than 200,000 since the final quarter of 2007.

Rough calculations suggest that the number of foreign worker in the construction industry remains at about 230,000. But the chances are that this greatly underestimates the true figure as, for technical reasons, overseas workers are more likely to be underrepresented with the LFS survey sample.

Indeed most of the figures to do with immigration, emigration and migrant workers are a bit suspect, so should be treated with caution.

My gut feeling tells me that the number of overseas workers in construction may well have fallen, but that this has been missed because the LFS survey is blind to the more mobile among the workforce.

However, with redundancies and unemployment tending to lag behind the level of economic activity, it will be a few quarters yet before we see more clearly in the figures whether the foreign workers upon which UK construction has relied in recent years are giving the industry the cold shoulder.

And for those policy makers in construction, such as they are (or are not as the more cynical might suggest), the coming few years may have profound implications upon which to cogitate.

How will the UK provide a skilled workforce capable of delivering the built environment required of a nation with the high aspirations so readily trotted out by our politicians?