Why Migrants Are to Thank for the UK’s Successful Job Boom

A study carried out by the Resolution Foundation, think tank, found that migrants fuelled a 20-year jobs boom in Britain. The ‘net employment growth’ will diminish as the UK’s new points-based immigration system comes into force.

Migrants have played an integral part of the UK’s job market, accounting for 60% of net employment growth in the South East of England.

The Resolution Foundation’s think tank study showed a further 74% growth rate was recorded in the West Midlands and a staggering 107% in London.

These figures prove how much the UK has previously relied on foreign workers to boost employment rates. However, the once ‘booming’ influx of migrant workers has diminished since the EU referendum.

When combined with the weaker post-pandemic economy, the new system will operate within a wave of unemployment.

Kathleen Henehan, a policy analyst for the Resolution Foundation, spoke of the importance migrants have played in the UK job market. She said: “Migrant workers have played a big role in the growth of the UK labour force over the last 25 years, particularly in major cities like London, Birmingham and Manchester.

“But the UK has been attracting fewer migrant workers since the referendum and has likely seen an exodus of them during the pandemic. The new immigration regime will reinforce this major change in the UK labour market.”

Care Homes will Suffer

The new immigration rules will directly affect UK care homes, an industry which already has an alarmingly high vacancy rate.

As of the 1st of January EU staff who care for the older generation in care, cannot be recruited to work. Thousands of frontline care home workers face this barrier as they earn below the £25,000 threshold for skilled workers.

EU workers make up 8% of care staff in total but with some areas of the UK battling against high vacancy rates, the added pressure of losing essential EU workers could cause homes to close.

Care homes were hardest hit by coronavirus. It is becoming evermore likely they too will suffer the most from post-Brexit job cuts.

The looming immigration policy will have a debilitating effect on labour-intensive industries, services that are already suffering from Covid-19. Care homes were the hardest hit by the pandemic, a lack of government protection led the elderly to be the worst affected age bracket. It is becoming ever more likely they too will suffer the most from post-Brexit job cuts.

The Impact on Hospitality

Businesses who have previously been reliant on lower-paid foreign workers will have to re-establish a productive operation. The hospitality industry, one which is already struggling in the coronavirus pandemic, is predominantly reliant on overseas workers.

Yash Dubal, a solicitor in London, highlights the need for businesses to meet increased demand. He said: “Hospitality has always relied heavily on recruitment from overseas.

“The shortage of skilled chefs shows that unless this demand for professionals can be met, it will hold British businesses back from economic growth.”

Hospitality relies on foreign workers. [Source: Caterer]

Home Office data shows 31,946 businesses are registered to sponsor applicants on Tier 2 visas. From the 1st of January, this will be the immigration route for Europeans working in the UK.

The latest House of Commons business statistics, however, prove just how challenging this will be. There are 1.4million private sector employers in the UK, and only 2% are in a position to employ new arrivals.

The number of workers from EU8 countries has fallen dramatically, from 69,000 in 2015 to 16,000 by 2019-20. This directly involves the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia.

The original expectation for the new immigration system was to reduce net migration in a thriving economy and market. But when combined with the weaker post-pandemic economy, the new system will operate within a wave of unemployment.

[Header Image: Johnny Alive]