Economic Impacts Of Immigration To The Uk

Economics, Employment

 1. Summary

  • The impact of immigration into the UK on GDP per head – the key metric measuring prosperity – is essentially negligible (see section 3 below)
  • Although labour market effects are notoriously difficult to estimate, there is tentative evidence to show that some immigration has had negative effect on the employment of UK-born workers (4.2). There is also substantial anecdotal evidence that workers in some sectors of the economy have suffered more than others from competition with migrant labour: the IT industry is one such sector (4.2)
  • Since 1997 three-quarters of employment created in the UK economy has been taken by immigrants (4.4)
  • On the impact of immigration on average wage levels, the evidence is again inconclusive (5.1), but there is a strong consensus of opinion that immigration has harmed the earnings of the most poorly-paid UK-born members of the labour force (5.2)
  • The methodology used to demonstrate alleged positive fiscal impacts is flawed and partial (section 6); in any case calculations of the size of the fiscal impact, whether negative or positive, are extremely small.

To see the full Updated Version of this document go to Briefing Paper No 1.29 on Migration Watch UK web site.

6th July 2012

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