Shocking figures released by Migration Matters Trust

Revealed: Cutting migration to below 100k could mean 3m+ unemployed with fewer BRITONS in work than at any time in the past twenty years

Shocking new figures from the Migration Matters Trust reveal that cutting net migration to less than 100,000 per year could hammer British jobs.

Unemployment would potentially rise from 1.6m today to 3.1m while the employment rate for British citizens – the percentage who want to work that have jobs – could see a slump from 75% to 70%, the lowest level in twenty years.

In this scenario, the numbers of unemployed chasing each vacancy would rise from 2 today, to 7.

The figures are based on an analysis of the last decade of government economic statistics, correlated against net migration levels.

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Source: Migration figures from International Passenger Survey, employment & unemployment figures from Labour Force Survey 2006 - 2016

The yellow dots on the graphs above illustrate the prospective changes to unemployment and British employment at lower net migration levels, based on the past decade's figures and assuming a straight linear correlation.

Correlation is not the same as causation but if, as economic models suggest, there would be an economic contraction as a result of cuts to migration, they illustrate the potential impact on British employment and unemployment

Commenting on the figures, Keith Knowles, CEO and founder of Beds and Bars Ltd, which has outlets across the UK and Europe, said,

“These figures are no surprise.

Without migrants to help plug skills gaps, my business would really struggle.

Migrant workers in my trade are often mislabelled as doing low skill jobs. This is not the case. They have a passion for hospitality, something that we really struggle to find here in the UK. For me, migrants are incredibly valuable. Their skills and capabilities keep the business running.

We've just raised a fund to invest in building new hostels around the UK and Europe. The UK becomes increasingly unattractive to invest in if we're unable to obtain the skills we need. For us to be able to grow our economy, we need to be able to access the full labour market."

A report from the Centre for Economic Business Research recently highlighted how cutting migration to below 100,000 would reduce the size of the British economy by between 1.5% and 3% by 2025. Shrinking the economy in this way would hit employment, principally Britons’ jobs.

The report’s author, Professor Douglas McWilliam identified the need to plug skills gaps to ease bottlenecks as a key driver of whether the economy grows or stagnates.

Barbara Roche, chair of the Migration Matters Trust commented,

“Some of the people hit hardest by cutting migration to below 100,000 would be British workers.

According to the government’s own figures, in industries like hospitality, which have a higher proportion of migrant workers, 7 out of 10 employees are Brits. These are the workers who will suffer if migration is cut.

The case for immigration isn’t about abstract altruism but British self-interest. By plugging skills gaps in businesses, immigration safeguards the jobs of British workers in those firms.”

Top ten sectors by proportion of migrant workforce

 

Sector

% share of workforce that are migrants

% share of workforce that are British nationals

% share of total employment represented by the sector

1

Elementary & process plant operations

42

58

0.8

2

Process operatives

36

64

0.9

3

Cleaning & housekeeping managers

35

65

0.2

4

Elementary cleaning occupations

31

69

2.4

5

Food preparation and hospitality

30

70

1.6

6

Textiles & garments trade

28

72

0.1

7

Health professionals

26

74

1.7

8

Elementary storage occupations

26

74

1.4

9

IT and Telecoms professionals

25

75

3.1

10

Assemblers and routine operatives

25

75

0.9

Source: Migration Observatory 2017, drawn from Labour Force Survey 2015

Recently several Government Ministers have started to set out a case for why migration levels should be sustained in the sectors for which they are accountable.

Andrea Leadsom, Secretary of State for Agriculture has called for special exemption for migrant labour in agriculture from the government target; Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government, has made a similar case for migrant workers in construction while Jeremy Hunt, the Health Secretary, has warned about the consequences of slashing the numbers of migrant healthcare workers.