Over the weekend, it was reported that Tory ministers ‘insisted’ on rewriting a Government report: on the impacts of migration on UK native employment, because it was too pro-European. The report which was due to be published in December 2013, was delayed as it had been reportedly rewritten twice. Liberal Democrat Business Secretary Vince Cable who has repeatedly clashed with Home Secretary Theresa May, accused her of being ‘propagandist’.
Government Report: Impacts of Migration on UK Native Employment
According to BBC’s Newsnight, due to the contents of the report, rows within the coalition caused the publication to be postponed twice. The report’s executive summary states:
“The impact of the labour market is considered across a range of different sectors, including manufacturing, engineering, legal services, agriculture, hospitality, financial service and health care; and with regards to highly skilled, low skilled and regulated professions. The effects are viewed as largely positive, providing a wide range of skilled labour and opportunities for UK workers and their employers in other member states.”
The joint Home Office and Business Department report acknowledges that the impacts of migration on the UK are complex and wide-ranging, affecting economic, social and cultural aspects of life in the UK. The report, which was compiled by government analysts, concludes that there is “little evidence” migrant workers have a “statistically significant” impact on jobs of British workers, especially when the economy is strong. The analysts state that although it was difficult to predict the impacts of future migration on native employment with any great degree of certainty, they were able to make an informed judgement based on existing evidence.
Dr Carlos Vargas-Silva: Decline in the Number of Recent Migrant Workers in the UK
According to the report, there has been a decline of 28% in the number of non-EEA highly skilled Recent Migration Workers (RMW) in the UK since 2007. However, there has been a 53% rise within the EEA, with skilled migrants coming from countries such as France, Germany and Spain.
The number of non-EEA highly skilled RMW have shown to be the most effected by the Government’s policy to decrease to tens of thousands. The figures show highly skilled migration decreased by 30%, from 155,000 in 2007 to 109,000 in 2010. This number decreased by a further 39% in 2013 to 94,000, in comparison to 2007.
Dr Carlos Vargas-Silva, co-author of the report said:
“There has been a significant decline in the number of recent migrant workers in the UK who have the highest levels of education and who are in top occupations since 2007, but this decline is driven by a decrease in non-EEA migration. Since 2011 the number of these recent migrant workers who are from EEA countries has increased. Policy makers need to look at whether this has been caused by a “balloon effect” where policies designed to squeeze one sort of migration lead to another sort increasing in size.”
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