Fears over immigration have increased among young people–amid dire jobs news for their age group.
More than 70 per cent of those in their late teens and early 20s now say immigration is a problem, according to pollsters Ipsos MORI.
That figure has risen by 10 per cent over the 12 months that saw unemployment among the young approach one million.
For the first time, people in the 16-24 age group are now more worried about migrant numbers than those in their 30s, the poll showed.
Last week it was revealed 965,000 young people are out of work and hundreds of thousands have never worked. One in five 16-24 year-olds is jobless and looking for work.
The poll found almost half of youngsters believe immigration into Britain will damage the economic recovery by taking jobs away from those already here.
Ben Page, chief executive of Ipsos MORI, said: ‘The research shows strong support for tougher immigration policies, and high levels of concern.
‘Concern among young people about immigration has also increased and that could be attributed to the high levels of youth unemployment.’
Across the country, three quarters of Britons say immigration is a problem. Almost two thirds–65 per cent–want tougher controls on those coming into the country.
More than half (57 per cent) support the Government’s immigration cap on non-EU migrant workers, and just 15 per cent are opposed.
Some 68 per cent of 25-39 year-olds said immigration was a big problem, compared to three quarters of those aged 40-64 and 86 per cent of those aged 65 and over.
The poll of more than 1,000 Britons revealed varying reasons for concerns. More than four out of ten people were worried about the burden on public services.
Nearly one in three highlighted job fears and a quarter pointed to a general failure in recent years to control migrant numbers.
Last week ministers laid out details of the new cap on non-EU workers, which comes into force from April 6. It will restrict to 21,700 the number allowed in each year.
Ministers hope the changes, with a clampdown on bogus students, will help cut net migration levels from more than 200,000-a-year now to ‘tens of thousands’ by 2015.