In a week, three different reports have come out in the United Kingdom (UK) on how immigrants impact on the increasing level of unemployment among UK citizens. Migration Watch, an independent body that campaigns for tighter immigration controls in the UK was the first to release a report which argued that immigrants coming from other UK countries are basically raising the level of UK youth unemployment in the UK.
The report notes a ‘remarkable coincidence’ between the rise in youth unemployment in the UK and the huge surge in immigration from Eastern Europe over the last eight years”
Migration Watch UK states that from the first quarter of 2004 to the third quarter of 2011, employment of workers born in the Eastern Europe or the so called A8 countries increased by over 600,000 while over the same period the number of unemployed young people in the UK almost doubled, from 575,000 to just over a million. For them, this is an indication that there is link between the number of immigrants coming into the UK from other EU countries and the increasing number of unemployment in the country among UK youths.
About 24 hours after the Migration Watch report, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) came out with the result of a study that concluded that there was "no association" between migration and the numbers of people claiming unemployment.
According a report by BBC, the NIESR study looked at the number of migrants given National Insurance numbers between 2002-3 and 2010-11 and compared them with the number claiming unemployment benefit and concluded that "The results show a very small negative and generally insignificant correlation between the migrant inflow rate and the change in the claimant count rate”
The study therefore shows that “For all practical purposes, these results suggest that migration has essentially no impact on claimant count unemployment." In other words the number of immigrants coming to the UK has no impact on the number of UK citizens that cannot find jobs.
However, even before that NIESR report left the press, the Migration Advisory Committee, which is the UK government’s official advisers on immigration, came out with its own report that states that immigration from outside the European Union leads to job losses in the UK for UK citizens.
The report states that for every 100 new migrants that are allowed into the UK from outside the EU, 23 UK citizens are unable to get jobs estimating that 160,000 jobs for UK citizens have been “displaced” since the 1995 due to an increase in immigration from non EU countries.
So basically, there are three reports out there. One says that EU immigration is leading to UK citizens losing their jobs, one is neutral saying jobs are not being lost due to immigration while a third says that jobs are being lost but from immigrants coming from non EU countries. The last report from the Migration Advisory committee could be said to carry the higher wait since it is the UK government’s official adviser on immigration.
The implication of this report is clear. Immigration rules will continue to be tightened in the UK while more efforts will be made to deport illegal immigrants living in the UK. Also those seeking permanent stays may face slower acceptance rate from the UK government.
The expectation is that this report will strengthen the current government policy of capping the number of people coming into the UK from outside the EU. Expect stricter visa rules as well as increase in the number of people being refused visa to come into the UK from outside the EU since the UK cannot do much about people coming from EU countries.
The report reflects the general mood of a country that is facing a slower economic growth and increased uncertainty over its economic future. Generally, in difficult economic period, countries are known to be less tolerant of foreigners in their midst.