UK jobs and migration

A recent LSE Briefing on Migration by Dr Jonathan Wadsworth shows that:

“Immigrants do not account for a majority of new jobs. The immigrant share in new jobs is – and always has been – broadly the same as the share of immigrants in the working age population.

“There is still no evidence of an overall negative impact of immigration on jobs, wages,housing or the crowding out of public services. Any negative impacts on wages of less skilled groups are small.”

“The empirical evidence shows that:

  • Immigrants and native-born workers are not close substitutes on average (existing migrants are closer substitutes for new migrants). This means that UK-born workers are, on average, cushioned from rises in supply caused by immigration (Manacorda et al, 2011).
  • The less skilled are closer substitutes for immigrants than the more highly skilled. So any pressures from increased competition for jobs is more likely to be found among less skilled workers. But these effects are small (Manacorda et al, 2011; Dustmann et al, 2005, 2013; Nickell and Saleheen, 2008).
  • There is no evidence that EU migrants affect the labour market performance of native-born workers (Lemos and Portes, 2008; Goujard et al, 2011). “

Even accounting for recent migratory waves and economic crisis, the research shows that “there is no evidence of any association between changes in the less skilled (defined as those who left school at age 16) native youth NEET (‘not in education, employment or training’) rate and changes in the share of immigrants. Counties that experienced the largest rises in immigrants experienced neither larger nor smaller rises in native-born unemployment.”

There is no relationship between changes in immigration and local wages, 2004-12.

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