Applications from citizens from the new EU states wanting to work in the UK rose to 133,000 by the end of 2004.
Government-commissioned research had suggested that annual applications from new EU member states would be in the range of 5,000 to 13,000.
The number of non-EU citizens registering under separate employment schemes also rose, by 8.6% to 181,432.
Most applicants were young – 83% were aged 18-34 years – and single. More than half (55%) were men.
Most workers were from Poland (56%), with Lithuania accounting for 15% and Slovakia 10%.
Hospitality and catering accounted for 28% of the jobs applied for; administration, business and management 24%, agriculture 14%, and manufacturing 8%.
Just over one-fifth of registered workers were based in London, with 80% earning wages of £4.50-£5.99 an hour.