09 January 2012

UK immigration could be linked to youth unemployment

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A report from Migrationwatch UK has suggested that there could be a link between the rising rate of youth unemployment in Britain and the increase in migration from Eastern Europe.

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The rising rate of migration from Eastern Europe could be related to over one million unemployed youths in the UK.

The report states that youth unemployment in the UK rose to over one million in the third quarter of 2011, a rise of 450,000 since 2004. This, according to the report, could coincide with the 600,000 more workers in the UK from the eight former Soviet eastern bloc countries (known as the A8 countries) who joined the EU in 2004.

While Migrationwatch UK campaign for tighter controls on UK immigration, they were very cautious about stating a connection, instead simply claiming it would be "a very remarkable coincidence if there was no link at all" between these figures.

However, the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) has rebuked the study as "flawed", criticising the report as "just conjecture, disingenuously presented as research".

Migrationwatch UK chairman Sir Andrew Green admitted that while "correlation is not, of course, proof of causation", because migrants from A8 countries "have tended to be disproportionately young, well-educated, prepared to work for low wages and imbued with a strong work ethic", this can have costs "which have undoubtedly fallen on young British born workers".

Matt Cavanagh, associate director at the IPPR has maintained that the rate of youth unemployment began to rise in 2002, two years before A8 migration began and that to "try to make our youth unemployment problem look like it is only or mainly an immigration problem - as this report does, by selective use of dates, and a methodologically bogus juxtaposition of aggregate A8 migration with aggregate rise in unemployment - is a profound mistake, and an irresponsible one at that".

A recent report from the Office for National Statistics said that positions employers are struggling to fill with local workers which are increasingly being taken by A8 migrants "is not only an issue of migrants accepting the dirty, difficult and dangerous jobs that the UK labour force shuns, but also a matter of the very positive work ethic amongst A8 workers".


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