Migrant workers have not prevented UK workers from getting jobs or had a significant impact on the number of people claiming unemployment benefits, research has shown.
A Department for Work and Pensions study, The impact of migration from the new European Union Member States on native workers, has found Eastern European migrants coming to the UK have not caused unemployment or had a significant impact on wages.
Minister for employment and welfare reform Stephen Timms said: “Migrants from Eastern Europe have come to the UK to work and have been a benefit to our economy, allowing companies to grow and create more jobs. As this research shows, these migrants have not taken jobs away from British workers and have not impacted on wages.”
Timms added that job vacancies are growing in the UK, but it was important people with low skills – including migrant workers – continued to get the training and support they needed to make the most of the jobs on offer.
However, earlier this month a study by the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) think-tank warned that UK employers faced being left in the lurch as the current flow of eastern European migrants continues to dry up.
IPPR estimated that more than one million migrant workers had come to the UK from the eight accession countries that joined the EU in 2004. But the report also claimed that about half of those had already returned home and that many more will soon follow suit.