Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Migration and Unemployment - do migrants take jobs from UK citizens?

The left wing think tank NIESR get the answer they want, by asking a question that doesn't mean what you think it does...
Paul Perrin

The Reports

There have been two reports just released on the issue of whether immigration damages job opportunities for our own citizens.

One was from 'Migration Watch' who tend to beleive that uncontrolled immigration is bad for the UK:

And one from NIESR (National Institute of Economic and Social Research) a left wing think tank who tend to support uncontrolled immigration to the UK:

The Migration Watch document has been reported in various places, with opposing comments from the NIESR and ASI (The Adam Smith Institute - a free market, business oriented think tank who would tend to support business having access to cheap labour).

NIESR - and its flawed question.

THe NIESR report is presented as showing there is no link to immigration and unemployment. However that is not the question it actually asks or answers...

The NIESR report is actually looking at whether a company taking on a migrant worker will automatically sack an existing UK employee. Literally 'do migrants take UK workers jobs'. This is a very narrow and odd question to ask, but there are some obvious reasons that NIESR might prefer this question to the really important question of 'would more UK workers have jobs if there were fewer migrant workers'.

The NIESE question and approach is cleverly crafted as it would only detect large scale and hugely clumsy acts of employers simply sacking their UK workers and replacing them with new migrants, and it would not detect the issues that have causes uproar in the past.

What the NIESE study completely hides is new jobs being created and going to new migrant workers, rather than going to our existing unemployed citizens.

So the NIESE study is designed to miss the very issue that caused such a stir in june last year - "British Jobs for Migrant Workers" http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1284568/British-jobs-migrant-workers-Figures-ridicule-Labours-employment-pledge.html).

The Lefts Betrayal of our own Unemployed

Why is it such an issue that new jobs are going to migrants rather than our own unemployed, and such a devious distraction for reporting of this study to imply otherwise?

Because the economy is in bad shape and we need to GROW the economy to fix it. As it grows, new jobs will be created, but if those new jobs go to new migrants rather than our own unemployed, we will not get the benefits of that growth - and the economy will never recover.

If we are to cut our welfare bill by getting people back to work migration needs to be properly controlled, we can't let the left continue with their lies which they are now so wedded to that they can never face the truth.


Everyone in the world wants a better life and no one can blame them for trying to achieve one. But migration has to be on our terms - when it is for the benefit of UK citizens - maybe for skill shortages, specialist skills etc. Not purely for the financial advancement of foreign workers at the expense of UK workers.

A government has sovereignty over a particular piece of land, and has an absolute duty to put the interests of the citizens of that land above all other interests - that is what governments exist for, and why citizens entrust them with sovereignty.

While our own government is not putting our own interests first it is betraying us all.

(ps. Migrant vs Immigrant - these words seem to be used interchangeably now - for the avoidance of doubt, in this article, they refers to people who are not citizens of the UK, it is not a reference to where they were born, or other citizenships they may have had in the past).


  1. Hi Paul

    I have been researching these two contradictory reports for my own edification. I have just done the NIESR one (and about to go to the MAC one). I was checking out NIESR's background and couldn't find much on them but your blog popped up.

    Can you just fill in a couple of things

    1. What makes you say they are left-wing? IE is there anything about who works there or who funds them that sugests that (as opposed to their published opinions. Wikipedia has nothing to say on this.

    2. I find their science a bit impenetrable but they seem to be gathering data not on companies as you say above but "labour markets" (specifically at three levels of "markets" : single towns, local districts and goverment areas, or something). This seems a fair question to me (whatever else you might think of the answer). There will always be "churn" of people moving between companies in any "market" but the question they are asking is in these sub-national markets do the arrival (or non-arrival) of immigrants affect the populations rates of the locals. Am i missing something?


  2. Hi Jon Anonymous,

    1)Someone told me they were - I can't find the specific reference.

    Googling just turned up this: http://blogs.independent.co.uk/2011/11/01/is-the-coalition-on-course-to-reduce-inequality/

    Which certainly has a leftish feel to it.

    But this turned up too:

    You pays your money and you takes your chance...

    2) I presented/paraphrased their research as I did to clarify what their research was looking for - it looks for migrants starting work, and at the same time a rise in the jobless figures.

    I characterise this as a UK worker being sacked and replaced by a migrant worker. i.e.The migrant starting work and the UK worker joining the unemployed.

    I don't see this as a typical/likely scenario. I see it as more likely that migrants are competing with the existing unemployed, and getting the job - the UK worker has not 'lost' their job, they have just failed to 'gain' one.

    This scenario fits the data presented in various places including this data. New jobs going to migrants and UK workers left on the dole.

  3. p.s. I didn't really study the Migration Watch document - it didn't seem to have enough raw data to do much with, and used the phrase 'statistically insignificant' a phrase that rings bells... as it usually indicates a misunderstanding of the phrase 'not statistically significant'.

  4. I find the characterisation of NIESR as left wing quite amusing. I would argue that their paper does infact answer your question, because it measures the claimant count, which increases when new people join the labour market and don't get a job straight away regardless of whether they are migrants or not. The real flaw in the NIESR data would seem to be that we don't know if the claimants might in fact be the immigrants and that the locals are getting the jobs.

    Anyway, I'd be interested to know what methodology you would propose to answer the larger question of how to deal with the existing stock rather than the flows. For my money, it would be better to do a survey of jobseekers to find out how many applied for jobs that were eventually taken by an incomer.