Report links immigration from outside Europe to job loss in UK

Vidya Ram London | Updated on November 15, 2017 Published on January 10, 2012

A new row over migration has erupted in Britain, after a controversial report by the government's own advisory committee linked immigration from outside Europe to unemployment levels in the country.

During periods of negative growth, an increase in migrants reduced the number of native workers in employment, according to the report by the Migration Advisory Committee published on Tuesday, citing its own study of figures between 1995 and 2010.

An additional 100 migrants reduced the number of native, UK-born workers by 23 and by up to 30 in years of negative growth, according to the ‘Analysis of the Impacts of Migration' report. ‘Migrants are more likely to compete with natives for jobs during an economic downturn when native unemployment is high and job vacancies are low,' the report said. In the 15 years to 2010, 160,000 native Britons had been displaced as a result of 2.1 million additional jobs held by migrants, it estimated.

The report also concluded that migration reduced the wages of the lowest paid, while having a slightly positive impact on the best paid. ‘Assessing the impacts of migration is not a simple decision and our conclusions will require careful consideration by the government,' said Prof. David Metcalf, Chair of the MAC. However, our research suggests that non-EEA migration is associated with some displacement of British workers.

Migration has become an increasing focal point in the debate on the future of the British economy, as the country's unemployment rate remains firmly high, reaching 8.3 per cent.

Migration Watch UK, which campaigns against rising immigration, published a report earlier this week, which linked the rise in youth unemployment to Britain between 2004 and 2011 to an increase in immigration from Eastern Europe. However, a separate report published by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research on Tuesday concluded exactly the opposite. ‘Even during the recent recession increased immigration was not associated with increases in claims for Jobseekers Allowance,' said NIESR.

The British Prime Minister, Mr David Cameron, came to power pledging to reduce net migration from the ‘100s of thousands' under the previous government to ‘tens of thousands' and has already brought in a number of measures to toughen up the system, including a cap on the number of non-EU workers and more requirements for students wishing to study in the UK.

“This report makes clear that it can also put pressure on the local labour market,” said Mr Damian Green, Immigration Minister. “We will now consider the report more fully as we work to regain control over our immigration system.”

Published on January 10, 2012
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