The Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) and recruiters from Harvey Nash, have released their findings following their research on the impact of EU labour on the UK. They found that the coalition’s plans to curb EU immigration could cost the UK £60bn by 2050 and drive up national debt. Research found that workers from EU countries were more likely to take on more senior jobs than British workers. They were also estimated to earn an average 7.6% (£2,035) more than their British counterparts.
CEBR Study: What the Figures Show
Research shows that migrant workers are more likely to be in work (63.3%) than UK-born citizens (56.2%) as well as more economically active (at 69.8%) than UK-born citizens (63%).
Tighter immigration controls will result in a loss of 2% from GDP by 2050, £60bn in real terms. The research indicates that without EU migrants helping to off-set the UK’s ageing population, the UK government’s borrowing would be 0.5% higher.
UK Businesses Relying on EU Workers
Between 2003-2013, the number of EU citizens employed in the UK more than doubled from 762,000 to 1,647,000. EU workers play a vital role in several UK sectors – in the financial and business services sectors they make up 6.4% of the total workforce while in the manufacturing sector they make up 6.7%.
CEBR Study Predictions for UK’s Economic Growth
CEBR and recruiters from Harvey Nash used ONS population projections and created the following scenarios that consider the dynamics of working age population, economic growth and public finances:
- The Central long-term net migration is at 140,000 per annum and there would be a rise in working population of 7.9% by 2050. Under an EU-exit scenario where net migration averages 100,000 per annum, the UK working population would decline by 1.9%;
- Compared with the central scenario, the EU-exit scenario would lead to real GDP being 2% lower in 2050; and
- The scenario with zero net migration would lead to a 6.7% (£204 billion) under the higher migration scenario.
“EU Born Workers Bring Much Needed Skills & Values to the UK” – CEO of Harvey Nash
Following the research, Albert Ellis commented:
“Non-UK EU Born workers are bringing much needed skills and value to the UK and there is little evidence that EU immigrants are having a negative impact on wages or unemployment. In fact immigrants are helping to create jobs – a broad and diverse labour market fuels growth as this report shows.”