Foreign-Born Workers Get Three-Quarters of British Jobs

Times of India (New Delhi), August 12, 2010

Workers born outside Britain bagged most of the jobs in the country despite a steep surge in recruitment this year, adding to the worries of unemployed British youths, campaigners have said.

Employment levels in three months between April and June rose from 184,000 to 29 million in the biggest quarterly hike since 1989. But about three-quarters of this increase was due to workers born outside Britain, the data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) reveals.

The new figures were “further evidence that immigration really does affect the job prospects of British-born workers”, Sir Andrew Green, from Migrationwatch UK, was quoted as saying by Daily Mail.

“An astonishingly high proportion of the increase in employment is down to foreign workers getting jobs in Britain,” he said.

The quarterly rise in workers born outside was 145,000, compared with an increase of just 41,000 Britain-born workers. The overall figure is adjusted to take account of how the labour market is affected by seasonal factors, such as school leavers starting work in June, the ONS said.

The figures also showed a total of 25.08 million people born in Britain were in jobs in the three months in 2010, down 15,000 on a year earlier. However, the number of people born outside Britain who were in jobs was up 114,000 to 3.85 million, compared with the same time last year.

Employment rate for Britain-born people aged from 16 to 64 was 70.9 percent in the three months to June 2010, down 0.5 percent on a year earlier. The corresponding rate for foreign-born people was 66.5 percent, up 0.5 percent on this time last year.

Immigration minister Damian Green said: “I recognise the importance of attracting the brightest and the best to ensure strong economic growth, but unlimited migration can place unacceptable pressure on public services.

“It is our aim to reduce the level of net migration back down to the levels of the 1990s–tens of thousands each year, not hundreds of thousands. Introducing a limit on migrants from outside Europe coming here to work is just one of the ways we intend to achieve this.

“Alongside our limits there will be action to get people back to work and provide business with the skills they need from the British workforce–reducing the need for migrants at the same time as we reduce their number.”

The number of young people trapped in long-term unemployment has also soared by 41.9 percent in the last year.

The figures reveal that 72,000 people aged 18 to 24 had been out of work for two years or more in the three months up to June. This was an 11 percent increase on the previous quarter–and a 41.9 percent increase in the past 12 months.

The figures fuel fears that tens of thousands of young people have never had a job and risk being caught in an inescapable unemployment trap.

Employment rose as the number of part-time workers lifted by 115,000 in the quarter to a record 7.84 million–suggesting more people are struggling to find full-time permanent jobs. But the ONS said there was also a lift in those in full-time work, up by 68,000 to 21.2 million in the first quarter of the current financial year.

The figures also showed the unemployment rate was 7.8 percent between April and June.

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