Immigration a Sign of Economic Strength—Report

Kuwait News Agency, December 19, 2007

There is little evidence that immigration is having an adverse effect on the wages of those born in the UK, according to a new report released here Wednesday.

Most immigrants to the UK now come from Poland, followed by India and the United States, a study by the UK Centre for Economic Performance (CEP) said.

The report said there was little evidence of overall adverse effects of immigration on wages and employment for people born in the UK.

But it added “Nevertheless, there may be some downward pressure in the low wage labour market where (despite their higher relative education levels) many new immigrants tend to find work.” According to the Labour Force Survey, by 2007, 12.5 percent of the UK’s working age population was born abroad, up from around eight percent in 1995.

There are now 4.3 million adults of working age in the UK who were born abroad.

Britain is still “middle-ranking” in terms of its share of immigrants in the total population (9.3 percent), lower than Australia (23.6 percent), France (10 percent), Germany (13 percent) and the United States (12.8 percent), the report said.

“During periods of strong economic growth, migration is and has always been important for filling gaps in the labour market,” it added.

“The recent increases in net immigration to the UK are therefore a sign of the strength of the economy,” it said.

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