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Recession decouples trends

Recession decouples trends in work-related and non-work related migration with implications for policy debate
 
Commenting on the latest official migration statistics published earlier today by the Office for National Statistics, Department for Work and Pensions and the Home Office, John Philpott, Chief Economic Adviser at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) says that the figures suggest the recession has had little overall impact on migration to and from the UK even though there has been a sharp fall in the number of migrants coming to find work. This he says highlights the need for a change in the debate over immigration policy.
 
Dr Philpott comments:
 
The 15 per cent decline in non-UK nationals allocated National Insurance numbers in the year to June 2009 offers a provisional indication of the impact of the recession on work-related migration. The fact that the fall was much bigger (36%) for EU migrants from central and eastern Europe, suggests that the main factor has been lower demand for labour rather than the impact of the introduction of the Points Based migration system.
 
Significantly, however, the recession appears to have had no discernible impact on overall long-term migration of non-EU migrants. This decoupling of the trend in work-related and non-work related immigration highlights the extent to which a policy focus on controlling work-related migration from outside the EU is directed at only a very small part of the overall migration flows. This strengthens the case for a broader debate on the economic and social impacts of large scale immigration rather than confining discussion purely to the issue of limiting numbers of migrant workers.  

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