More than 100,000 young Britons may have been pushed into unemployment by the recent waves of economic immigrants from Eastern Europe, according to a new report by a leading economic thinktank.
Since 1997, 1.5 million foreign workers have entered the British workplace, with many of these arriving from Eastern Europe in just the past three years, according to a report by the influential economic analysts, the Ernst & Young ITEM Club.
During the same three years, the number of unemployed British 18 to 24 year olds has increased by 100,000.
Young immigrants may have taken the jobs that young Britons might have had and so forcing native employment levels up
The report says: “There is some evidence that the growth of immigrant employment seen in the last few years may have come at the expense of the domestic workforce.
“Given the age and skill profile of many of the new immigrants, it is possible that ‘native’ youngsters may have been losing out in the battle for entry-level jobs.”
However the report also claims that Britain’s growth would be badly dented if the flow of migrants was stopped.
About 1.5million workers from overseas have arrived over the past decade and are taking most new jobs at cut-price rates, the Ernst & Young Item Club has found.
It said the country would have suffered slower growth, higher inflation and higher interest rates but for the new arrivals.
The study found said many immigrants had taken lower-skilled jobs at wages that were only 61 per cent of the UK average.
It also predicted gross domestic product would grow by 3 per cent a year over the next decade.