AbstractDuring periods of strong economic growth, migration is and has always been important for filling gaps in the labour market. Perceptions do not seem to line up with the existing academic evidence. On balance, the evidence for the UK labour market suggests that fears about adverse consequences of rising immigration in general and EU immigration in particular have still not, on average, materialised. It is hard to find evidence of much displacement of UK workers or lower wages, on average. Immigrants, especially in recent years, tend to be younger and better educated than the UK-born and less likely to be unemployed. Future migration trends will, as ever, depend on relative economic performance and opportunity. But we still need to know more about the effects of rising immigration beyond the labour market in such areas as prices, health, crime and welfare.
Thursday 26th February 2015
Immigration and the UK Labour MarketFirst in a new series of #ElectionEconomics policy briefings from the Centre for Economic Performance
On the eve of publication of the latest UK immigration statistics, new analysis shows that there is no evidence of a negative impact of immigration on jobs, wages, housing or the crowding out of public services. The research is summarised in a new report from the Centre for Economic Performance (CEP), the first in a series of background briefings on key policy issues in the May 2015 UK General Election.
With opinion polls now putting immigration at the top of UK voters' concerns - ahead of the economy, unemployment, the NHS and crime - the CEP Election Analysis surveys the evidence on the impact of immigration on the UK labour market. Author Professor Jonathan Wadsworth reports new analysis showing that:
"The weight of evidence from economic research indicates that immigration is good for both growth and deficit reduction and doesn't hurt jobs or wages. Yet immigration seems to bear the brunt of public concerns about economic hard times - and UKIP is the political party that has benefitted most.
"Responding to public perceptions, what the major political parties want to do is to restrict the ability of migrants to obtain some benefits, such as child benefit and housing benefit. It is unlikely this would have much effect on the numbers arriving because the vast majority of migrants come here to work or study rather than to obtain such benefits."
For further information, contact:Jonathan Wadsworth
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