IPPR - Net migration figures suggest impending labour market crunch
Marley Morris, IPPR’s senior research fellow for Brexit, commented on the long-term immigration statistics from the ONS
“These immigration statistics show an overall significant decline in net migration, driven by a fall in net migration from Eastern Europe.
"EU nationals play a key role in certain sectors of the economy – from the 60,000 workers in the NHS to the further 80,000 workers in social care. Our research has found that these workers are also concentrated in less well-known critical sectors such as food manufacturing, accommodation, and warehousing.
"We need a properly managed migration policy for post-Brexit Britain that meets the needs of the economy and the concerns of the public. But if skilled EU workers are leaving the UK now because their future in the UK is uncertain, we could face a labour market crunch. Moreover, a sharp fall in migration now won’t give employers the time to adapt by investing in skills or automation.
"If urgent action isn’t taken to provide certainty to EU nationals living in the UK, then we won’t be able to create the migration system we need for our post-Brexit economy to succeed – because skilled migrants will decide of their own accord to pack their bags and leave. We need to take steps now to grant deemed leave to all EU citizens in the UK and negotiate in good faith with the EU for a quick and fair deal on citizens’ rights”
The ONS migration statistics indicate that in the year ending December 2016 total long-term net migration to the UK was 248,000, compared to 332,000 in the year ending December 2015. This is driven largely by a fall in net migration of EU citizens of 51,000 (particularly A8 citizens from Eastern European accession countries).
Our recent research highlighted the important role EU nationals play in certain parts of the UK’s labour market. We found:
- Key occupations in particular industries are particularly reliant on EU nationals – including packers, bottlers, canners and fillers (42 per cent), food, drink and tobacco process operatives (40 per cent), weighers, graders and sorters (34 per cent), vehicle valeters and cleaners (27 per cent), and cleaning and housekeeping managers and supervisors(26 per cent).
- The impacts of Brexit on the labour market vary radically depending on the type of system introduced. If the current visa rules for non-EU workers were also applied to EU workers, then the vast majority of recent EU workers would be ineligible. This would have serious consequences for the UK labour market.
- Applying the non-EU rules to EU workers would have a particularly significant impact on the hotels and restaurants sector (where 16 per cent of the entire workforce are ineligible EU nationals), the manufacturing sector (10 per cent), and the agriculture sector (9 per cent).
- Read IPPR’s latest report on Brexit and migration ‘Striking the right deal: UK-EU migration and the Brexit negotiations’ here: http://www.ippr.org/publications/striking-the-right-deal
- IPPR aims to influence policy in the present and reinvent progressive politics in the future, and is dedicated to the better country that Britain can be through progressive policy and politics. With nearly 60 staff across four offices throughout the UK, IPPR is Britain’s only national think tank with a truly national presence.
Our independent research is wide ranging, it covers the economy, work, skills, transport, democracy, the environment, education, energy, migration and healthcare among many other areas. ippr.org
Latest News from
Policy Exchange - The New Netwar: Countering Extremism Online19/09/2017 10:35:00
In this major new report, Policy Exchange provides a comprehensive analysis of the struggle against online extremism – the ’new Netwar’.
JRF - It's getting harder for those on low incomes to make ends meet19/09/2017 09:35:00
Helen Barnard, Head of Analysis at the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, responded to the Monetary Policy Committee's interest rates decision
Adam Smith Inst - UK banking system an accident waiting to happen14/09/2017 12:35:00
New report shows UK banks still sickly, 10 years on from run on Northern Rock
Demos - Britain’s youth say they face barriers to success, prosperity and political engagement14/09/2017 11:35:00
A major new report by Demos think tank for the British Council’s Next Generation research series shows Britain’s young adults feel overburdened by responsibilities, and facing a multitude of barriers to getting ahead. The research reveals that only half of young Britons feel that they live in a socially mobile society.
IFS - Councils concerned about impact of cuts – and uncertain about effects of the business rates retention policy14/09/2017 10:35:00
A new report by researchers at the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) uses recent surveys from the Local Government Information Unit (LGiU) and PwC to examine council decision-makers’ views on whether cuts to funding have affected service quality and on the impact of business rates retention scheme (BRRS) on revenues and incentives. It also looks at how these views vary around England.