Migrant men more likely to be in work than indigenous British males
More foreign men have found work in Britain since the financial crisis than men born in this country, a leading think-tank has found.
By Christopher Hope, Senior Political Correspondent
13 June 2013
Despite a drop in overall employment during the economic downturn, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development found that male migrants in the UK have had higher levels of employment than “native-born men” from 2007 onwards.
Foreign-born men have reversed a pre-crisis shortfall in employment and are now doing better than men who were born in the country.
The findings come despite Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown pledging more “British jobs for British workers”.
Campaigners said it was clear that British born workers had “hardly benefited at all” from the jobs boom in the early part of the century.
Figures published by the OECD, based on Britain’s Labour Force Survey, show how the proportion of foreign born men in the UK increased in the decade to 2012.
It found that between 2001 and 2011 the proportion of foreign born men in work increased from 72.3 per cent to 76.9 per cent.
In comparison , the share of British-born men in work fell from 78.14 per cent to 74.73 per cent over the same period.
Among 26 developed nations, the proportion of foreign born men in the British workforce was the fifth highest behind countries including the United States, the Czech Republic and Austria.
Sir Andrew Green, chairman of Migration Watch UK, said: “It is time for a thorough assessment of the impact of immigration on the employment of British workers that this report only touches on.
“The effects may not show up statistically in a labour force of nearly 30 million but the anecdotal evidence is very strong.
“What is clear is that British-born workers have hardly benefited at all from the expansion of employment in the last ten years or so” [Emphasis added].
The findings feature in the Paris-based think-tank’s 420-page International Migration Outlook report for 2013, which also reveals that in 2011, total permanent immigration rose in the 34 OECD countries from 2010.
Looking at whether the financial crisis reversed progress made by migrants over the past decade, the report said: “Despite a decline in their employment rates during the crisis, male migrants in the United Kingdom had higher levels of employment than native-born men from 2007 onwards.”
The report also found that Britain and Germany are the biggest recipients of migrants fleeing countries most affected by the financial crisis, particularly in southern Europe, with numbers almost doubling in recent years.
It added that outflows of nationals from these countries are speeding up, with movements having risen by 45 per cent from 2009 to 2011 and early data suggests this increase is continuing.
Looking at Romania and Bulgaria, which will see access restrictions to the UK labour market lifted at the end of this year, the report draws a number of conclusions.
In Romania, the OECD said migration data is limited with officially registered emigration likely to capture only a small fraction of outflows.
This is significant because there has been a prolonged debate in the UK over providing estimates of the numbers of Romanians likely to arrive in the UK next year.
The UK Government has so far refused to provide official estimates as ministers believe they would not be reliable.
In Bulgaria, the OECD pointed to a National Public Opinion Institute study which found that 12 per cent of Bulgarians surveyed planned to emigrate once restrictions on free movement to the EU were lifted. This is the equivalent of 876,000 people.