The United Kingdom (UK) government’s Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) released a study affirming previous reports that the hiring of migrant workers may be “linked” to locals losing job chances in the past years.
The news site BBC reported on its news site on Tuesday (UK time) that MAC has found that between 1995 and 2010, “there were 23 fewer UK jobs for every 100 migrants from outside the EU (European Union).”
In its study released this month, MAC said around 160,000 jobs for British-born people have been “displaced” due to EU immigration on this period, but pointed out that the possible displacement “only holds for those migrants who have been here for [less than] five years.”
“Those migrants who have been in the UK for over five years are not associated with displacement of British-born workers,” it said.
The committee released the study titled “Analysis on the Impacts of Migration” this month, exploring areas which the migrants may have affected like salaries, the labor market, and consumption of public service.
In the foreword, Professor David Metcalf, chairman of MAC, said: “Such evidence suggests that successive government since 2008 have been right to make non-EU migration more selective.”
The BBC report said that Metcalf, however, noted that health and care services were not affected by the displacement because “this was mainly at a time of shortage of UK workers so British jobs were unlikely to have been displaced.”
MAC’s analysis came after the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) said that there was “no association” between migration and local unemployment.
The NIESR looked at the number of migrants with National Insurance numbers between the 2002-2003 and 2010-2011, comparing them with the number of those claiming unemployment benefits.
They found that there is “a very small negative and generally insignificant correlation between the migrant inflow rate and the change in the claimant count rate.”
Metcalf said that the conclusions made in MAC’s study “will require careful consideration by the government.”
“The impact of migration on the economic well-being of the resident population should be the focus,” he said. “Impact assessment must also consider wider effects such as the effects of skills transfer from migrants and their impacts on public finances, employability of UK workers, housing, and transport.”
UK Immigration Minister Damian Green said that the government “is working to reduce net migration” after 2010 statistics show that net migration to UK went on a record-high of 252, 000.
“Controlled immigration can bring benefits to the UK, but uncontrolled immigration can put pressure on public services, on infrastructure, and on community relations,” Green said.
Data from the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) show that the number of Filipinos in UK has dipped from more than 18, 000 in 2004 to only 5, 284 in 2010.
UK ranked sixth in the top destinations for nurses, with 350 Filipinos deployed in 2010, while it placed eighth for caregivers, with only 10 workers.
However, in the “Deployment of Seafarers by Top Ten Flags of Registry,” UK was eighth, with more than 11, 800 Filipinos deployed.
Even with this decline, the 2010 breakdown from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) listed UK as the fourth top country, with more than $888 million in remittances from Filipinos there. - with Rose-An Jessica Dioquino, VVP, GMA News