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UK – Net migration increases despite cap on non-EU migration

27 May 2011

A further rise in net migration offers the first sign of evidence that the temporary cap will do little to reduce net migration to the "tens of thousands", says the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) in response to the Migration Statistics Quarterly Report published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Official figures show that net migration has increased to 242,000 in the three months to September 2010, a rise of almost +50% compared with the corresponding figures last year. 
Gerwyn Davies, Public Policy Adviser, CIPD, commented "news that net migration has increased comes as no surprise given the recent rise in the number of European Union (EU) workers in employment in the UK, which is overshadowing a sharp fall in the number from outside the EU. While there are many drivers at play, it is no coincidence that this trend has coincided with the introduction of the temporary cap on non-EU workers, which seems to have opened up more opportunities for EU workers. This is consistent with employers who have said that they would look to the EU to recruit workers to fill vacancies that are sometimes difficult to fill, in response to the cap on non-EU migrant workers." 
The latest figures from the Workforce Job Series show that the number of EU 14 nationals in employment has risen by +12% during the past year, while the number of EU 8 nationals has increased by +25%. In contrast, the number of people in employment from New Zealand and Australia has fallen by more than a third, while the number of people in employment from USA has fallen by more than -10%. The number of UK nationals in employment has increased by +0.7%.
Davies continued "the figures offer further evidence that keeping out skilled non-EU workers won't help unemployed people in the UK in the near term, given the recent rise in the number of EU workers who, it should be stressed, have unlimited access to the UK labour market. It could however have real and negative consequences for both business and public sector organisations." 

EU 14: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.

EU 8: Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia and Slovenia.

To read the Migration Statistics Quarterly Report please click here


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