Economic migrants

The subject of economic migrants and what benefits or problems they bring has not been quite as topical in recent months as it has been in the past.

The downturn in the economy and the weakening of the pound are assumed to discourage migration and to encourage economic migrants in the UK to think of returning home.

A Polish-speaking colleague here at the Observatory, who has just returned from a short break in Poland, commented on the “farewell to Blighty” type headlines in Polish newspapers, with articles describing the substantial return to Poland of migrant workers from the UK.

Nevertheless the subject of economic migration still generates new reports, such as SQW Consulting’s Viewpoint series publication, Migrant workers: Economic issue and opportunities (PDF, 2.8MB) from August 2008. Although based at the England level it has very similar findings to our own work on the Economic impact of migrant workers in the West Midlands published in November 2007.

4 Responses

  1. If you’re interested in research and debate in this area, in addition to the reports mentioned by Stewart in his post, you might also like to read this article from ippr:

    Mixing it

    and this report:

    Your place or mine: The local economics of migration.

    All of this research, along with other data and research relating to migrant workers is available in the Regional Resource Catalogue which provides access to a wide-range of data and intelligence about, or affecting, the West Midlands and its sub-regions.

  2. There was also an article in the Shropshire Star last month, which reported a drop in the number of migrant workers in the county based on DWP (Department of Work and Pensions) data.

    Fewer job-seeking migrants in county

    [The figures] show falls in most areas – except in North Shropshire and Bridgnorth – which have each seen their registered immigrant working populations rise by 40, from 240 to 280 people in North Shropshire and from 60 to 100 in Bridgnorth according to the Department of Work and Pensions data.

    Elsewhere, the numbers have dropped from 1,340 to 1,250 in Telford and Wrekin; 420 to 360 in Shrewsbury and Atcham; 200 to 180 in South Shropshire and from 150 to 140 in Oswestry.

  3. The Improvement and Development Agency have recently updated their site with new resources for local authorities, including new guidance titled ‘New European migration: good practice guide for local authorities’. This guidance aims to help councils manage the local impact of migration from EU accession states.

    The guidance is available at:

    The updated migrant case studies and interviews are available at:

  4. New figures released today by the Office for National Statistics show that net migration to the UK was around 237,000 people in 2007.

    The official news release from the ONS is available here as a PDF document

    This release is also being covered in the media, e.g. Guardian, Times and BBC.

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