Is Mass Immigration Driving Down Wages for British Employees?

With the UK’s EU referendum promised by the end of 2017, we are likely to see an increase in arguments to stay and leave the EU, with Immigration being such a controversial subject, it is no surprise that a recent study conducted by the Bank of England was set out to find if immigration has an effect on wages in the UK. They found that immigration did not affect the majority of peoples wages in the UK, they did however find that immigration has an effect on lower skilled service workers such as; care workers, waiting staff and cleaners, whom are all receiving a lower income wage due to competition for their jobs, and the lower wages paid to immigrants.

Although these figures may be concerning for those in lower service skilled jobs, we must not forget that as a whole migration is hugely beneficial for a countries economy, and most economic migrants who enter  the UK must be sponsored by a UK licence sponsor, of which they must be above graduate level. The study does not differentiate between migrants who entered the UK under immigration rules or EEA Treaty rights.

This study is the first of its kind using up to date statistics to examine the impact on migration, In which it looked at 23 years of data up until last year. Previous studies have always focused on before the 2000’s prior to countries such as Hungary and Poland joining the bloc in 2004. The immigration lobby has previously claimed there is no evidence that immigration has had a significant effect on wages for British workers, however the study which is the first of its kind to find significant results that effect nearly a quarter of people in the UK, shows that a 10% rise in migration would reduce the average pay for semi and unskilled service sector roles by 1.9%.

However,  the aim of this study was to find out whether immigration has an impact on wages, and the  results showed that in many occupations there is still no affect.

Therefore we mustn’t take a hasty response and think the Government should tighten immigration controls, as the positive effects of  immigration as a whole can be seen through a variety of sectors such as; the medical industry and semi-skilled jobs such as; plumbing or building.  Immigrants may also help fill the occupations for lower skilled jobs that British nationals may not take otherwise.

For more information regarding UK immigration please contact us. 

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