A new report:
More than 100,000 young Britons may have been pushed into unemployment by the new wave of Eastern European immigrants, an economic analysis on the impact of migration has revealed.
Since 1997, 1.5 million foreign workers have entered the British workplace, with many of these arriving from Eastern Europe in the past three years since the European Union expansion. This new group typically earns 40 per cent less than British workers.
Since 2004, the number of unemployed British 18 to 24 year olds has increased by 100,000, according to the study. "There is some evidence that the growth of immigrant employment seen in the last few years may have come at the expense of the domestic workforce," the report concludes.
They also report that interest rates are lower, the economy as a whole is larger, trend growth is higher etc etc
But let\’s think about those 100,000. Ignore the other points for a moment. We\’ve got 1.5 million hugely benefitting from the much higher wages here than they would have got (if they would have got any at all) in their native countries. We\’ve got (taking these numbers as presented) 100,000 sufffering from the good fortune of those 1.5 million. And at some point we need to weigh those two effects in the balance. 1.5 million benefit and 100,000 don\’t looks like an increase in total human happiness to me. Thus the whole process is a good thing.
It is of course possible to take an opposite view. That for 100,000 of us Brits to suffer is a great deal worse than whatever benefit might accrue to 1.5 million Johnny Foreigners. If that\’s what you think then carry on, go right ahead: while I\’m perfectly willing to agree that there\’s something special about us Brits I\’m not sure that valuing J. Foreigner at 1 fifteenth of a Brit is valid.