Ms. Long-Bailey on immigration and wages

Ms Long Bailey marked out her pitch with a call for an open immigration system – perhaps even a continuation of free movement after Brexit – calling that “the million dollar question”.

People were “under the impression” that their wages were hit by an “influx of so-called migrants, but she said: “That just isn’t the case.

“I have not seen any economic evidence to suggest that the influx of workers from any country across the world at the moment has depressed wages in any way.”

Err, right.

The majority of NHS staff in England are British – but a substantial minority are not. Around 153,000 out of 1.2 million staff report a non-British nationality. This is 13.1% of all staff for whom a nationality is known, or just over one in eight. Between them, these staff hold 200 different non-British nationalities. Around 65,000 are nationals of other EU countries – 5.5% of NHS staff in England. Around 52,000 staff are Asian nationals.

How much would we have to increase wages by to gain 13% more British born and trained nurses?

46 thoughts on “Ms. Long-Bailey on immigration and wages”

  1. Dennis, Tiresome Denizen of Central Ohio

    And Boris Johnson says, “Thank you very much!”

    It’s a compliment to Labour’s depth of talent – which includes the likes of Rebecca Long-Baily – that people like Diane Abbott or Emily Thornberry don’t stand out as the obvious morons that they are.

    It really does appear that Labour is ready, willing and able to double down on stupid.

  2. Perhaps the prospect of vermine is not yet dead?

    Under the heading “Rebadged Work”, a blight-ridden potato makes what is perhaps an opening overture in a blog:

    “Ian McCluskey describes himself like this on Twitter:

    I mention this because this morning he has posted this, with reference to Rebecca Long-Bailey making the Green New Deal core to her campaign:

    And this:

    I stress, the Green New Deal is not all my work, even if I admit that Colin Hines did more than most to keep it alive from 2010 to 2018. So the credit is not all mine. But I don’t write just for fun. I write because I want things to change. Ian spotted a theme that I had not.”

  3. People were “under the impression” that their wages were hit by an “influx of so-called migrants, but she said: “That just isn’t the case.

    Supply and demand curves aren’t real, lol.

  4. So ..if I have go this right , you are saying that all the people who get up and go to work are reducing wages of the rest of the work force. Is that why regions like the South East and high inward migration are so badly off whereas the streets are paved with gold in areas of hardly any immigration …like Grimsby Merthyr Tydfl …you know the legendary top earnings commercial hubs who go to such lengths to look like dumps
    Aha …. they hire actors to blunder about looking like zombies on prozac just to stop anyone migrating there and disturbing the high wage super affluent economy

    Got it – Yes you may well be able to increase the cost of basic health provision cars food and so on but in the real economy immigration makes you richer ( usually )

  5. PS ..thanks for making health cars food and what not more expensive by the way – all sacrifices I`m sure we think are worth it in the noble cause of racial purity

  6. in the real economy immigration makes you richer

    Yes, those baristas, shelf-stackers and Beeg Eesshue vendors on tax credits, child benefit and housing benefits are making us loadsamoney. Cor!

  7. all the people who get up and go to work are reducing wages of the rest of the work force

    Yes – the Black Death resulted in significant wage increases and was a contributor to the end of feudalism.

    Newms (© Steve) addresses topics which rival Capt. Potato in terms of range and accuracy. Here a combined history/economics failure.

  8. How much would we have to increase wages by to gain 13% more British born and trained nurses?

    Maybe the prospect of having colleagues with whom one can share a joke, because you have a shared common culture, would entice more people into the workforce in the first place?

    Lunchtime at work is fascinating. Everyone self-segregates by race/culture at the dining tables: Indians at one table, Africans at another, even the Scots like to sit with their own kind.

  9. https://fullfact.org/immigration/immigration-and-jobs-labour-market-effects-immigration/

    “UK research suggests that immigration has a small impact on average wages of existing workers but more significant effects for certain groups: low-wage workers lose while medium and high-paid workers gain.”

    I see Newmania does not understand cause and effect. Migration is high to London and the South-East because they are rich and there are many jobs not the other way round. It’s why people migrate from poor places to rich places.

  10. Try Tim Congdon :

     “Between 2008 and 2014, for men at the 10th percentile [that is, in the bottom 10 per cent] of the weekly earnings distribution, pay [in real terms] fell by 20 per cent.” Some recovery has occurred in the last five years, but even in 2019 real pay is “still 12 per cent below its 2008 level . . . for these people”. The IFS also noted that, perhaps contrary to expectations, the reduction in real earnings has been greatest in the richer regions like London and the south-east, and it has hit people in their thirties the hardest.

    https://thecritic.co.uk/issues/december-2019/labours-low-wage-betrayal/

  11. I see Newmania does not understand cause and effect. Migration is high to London and the South-East because they are rich and there are many jobs not the other way round. It’s why people migrate from poor places to rich places.

    Bollocks -Actors in the economy are not just employees they are consumers providers of services and participants. There may be local affects but they increase the size of the economy as well as providing the benefits of skill comparative advantage to one and all. They also bung into the exchequer significantly and swell GDP allowing the country to borrow more than it otherwise would
    What makes us poor is the old people who voted for Brexit not the young working people they hate from behind the curtains of their smelly bungalows

  12. “How much would we have to increase wages by to gain 13% more British born and trained nurses? ”

    I thought we had plenty of applications for training, and we didn’t have the places to train even a good fraction of the applicants.
    So the bursaries are a stupid way to spend money.

  13. Money, money, money. Newmania, it is all just money to you, innit.

    BTW, what’s a “local affect”? Is it Sussex Am Dram?

  14. NDReader: It’s worse than that, the training places are artificially restricted. They could remove the cap overnight and take every qualified applicant immediately.

  15. 15% more British nurses, as you’re looking at an increase in the stock of British nurses of (13.1/86.9*100)%

  16. Actors in the economy are not just employees they are consumers providers of services and participants

    Absolutely no double counting there. Or punctuation.

    local affects

    Pretending that one has an ‘upstairs’ while crouching behind the curtains of one’s smelly bungalow.

  17. “providing the benefits of skill”

    Like that Bulgarian Big Issue seller in Bristol a while back. Managed to increase her benefits by persuading some Tribunal that she was a self employed worker. Well, she didn’t do the persuading because she couldn’t speak English.

    It’s a skill of sorts, I suppose.

  18. Wrong-daily came out with this and more nonsense on Today this morning. Martha K barely raised a challenge to any of her vague answers. A half competent interviewer would tear her to bits. AFNeil would tear her a new one without even breaking sweat. God, I hope she gets to be the next Labour puppet. I mean leader.

  19. “They also bung into the exchequer significantly and swell GDP allowing the country to borrow more than it otherwise would”

    Given you have to earn about £40k/yr before you become a net contributor to the Exchequer I severely doubt that.

  20. A friend of mine used to be a supervisor at a recycling place near Merthyr and all of his crew were Polish a few years back, he said they would all work for minimum wage so that’s what the company paid. Not a particularly nice job and they used to pay higher wages and shift allowances etc. but if there’s someone willing to take the job at legal minimum why pay more so wages had fallen.
    Anecdotal I know but as stated at the low end of the market is where you see the impact more than anywhere else even in places like Merthyr

  21. …in the real economy immigration makes you richer…

    Maybe and maybe not – it depends on who “you” are. I have no doubt that allowing in, say, a lot of Guatemalan roofers will make some construction companies richer. But if you’re a roofer, it’s going to make you poorer.

  22. Bloke in North Dorset

    Why does the left talk about immigration is a binary decision between open and closed borders. Most of us accept there can benefits from immigration but we want our politicians deciding who, when and at what rate. Its not just about jobs, its about pressures on housing, GPs, schools and other local services.

    I wish someone would ask the open borders crowd if they lock their doors and bank accounts and if so why?

    And when it comes to free movement within the EU its the free movement of Labour, not people. In most countries you can’t just rock up and expect to be given free housing and health care, you’d be expected to contribute, because that’s what locals do.

  23. Newmania, it is all just money to you, innit.
    It seems to be, M’Lud. I’m still convinced Newmonia’s a troll (in the original internet sense) But the arguments so typify many of the more vociferous remainers. Behind the high assumed principals, the glaring self interest. They see their cosy little number being threatened & don’t give a toss about anyone else. And if remaining in the EU posed the same threat they’d rotate 180° & be vociferous Leavers.
    Not knocking it as a point of view. Looking after number one should always be the priority. It’s the smug righteousness it’s done with, pisses me off. But, of course, that’s the art of trolling, isn’t it?

  24. For the millionth fucking time, only GDP per head matters, unless you are one of those people who have come to rely on the steady supply of foreign serfs and servants to do the things you can’t be arsed to do any more. As others have said, it is the dressing up of this cynical self-interest as high minded principle which grates.

    I blame Blair for this, he was the first to make this respectable.

  25. @Newmania

    No, I simply explained why your first statement “Is that why regions like the South East and high inward migration are so badly off whereas the streets are paved with gold in areas of hardly any immigration …” misunderstood cause and effect. People move to rich places and not poor places.

    You then go on to make another error ” Actors in the economy are not just employees they are consumers providers of services and participants. There may be local affects but they increase the size of the economy as well as providing the benefits of skill comparative advantage to one and all”. While there is a grain of truth that migration can increase opportunities for some natives, it also has a displacement effect, which disadvantages certain groups – hence the analysis I linked to above. It’s this type of poor quality understanding of who has benefited from globalisation (rich and middle classes in general) and who has lost out (lower class people) that I find most irritating about remainers. Globalisation and EU membership is not a win-win for everyone.

    You compound this with ” They also bung into the exchequer significantly and swell GDP allowing the country to borrow more than it otherwise would”. Actually it depends on the type of migrant. Overall migrants over their lifetimes do not contribute on a net basis to the Exchequer – certainly those who are of working age do, but if they then choose to retire here, they do not. On a net basis only a relatively small portion of the taxpaying base are net contributors. Some migrants are net burdens on the taxpayer even when of working age – those with low labour force participation and low education levels (Bangladesh and Pakistan). Some are net contributors – the best being US investment bankers who pay a lot of tax and do not retire here.

    Brexit probably has reduced the likely UK economic growth path – the best estimates suggest that the economy will be somewhere around 3-5% smaller than it otherwise would have been over ten to fifteen years with a large plus or minus, but in terms of GDP per capita, it’s a bit less. Overall it may have reduced UK borrowing capacity by a small amount over the medium term, but it’s not particularly significant in the greater scheme of things.

  26. “For the millionth fucking time, only GDP per head matters,”
    A short sighted Chancellor of the Exchequer working to a target that specifies a maximum debt to GDP ratio would welcome an increase in GDP, whatever the price that is paid by the rest of us.

  27. @Rob
    “For the millionth fucking time, only GDP per head matters, unless you are one of those people who have come to rely on the steady supply of foreign serfs and servants to do the things you can’t be arsed to do any more. ”
    Sadly politicians don’t get this. Or they feel more important being in charge of a bigger country – even if people are poorer.

  28. Brexit probably has reduced the likely UK economic growth path – the best estimates suggest that the economy will be somewhere around 3-5% smaller than it otherwise would have been over ten to fifteen years with a large plus or minus, but in terms of GDP per capita, it’s a bit less. Overall it may have reduced UK borrowing capacity by a small amount over the medium term, but it’s not particularly significant in the greater scheme of things.

    The Treasury’s (home of project Fear) own ‘figures’ suggest that a ‘worst case’ ‘no deal’ (WTO) would reduce the rate of increase in GDP by 0.8%. Now I happen to think that (like nearly all macroeconomic forecasts) this is a load of dingo’s kidneys. But even if we take it as true, GDP numbers are often retrospectively amended by a greater amount. In other words – a rounding error. What happens in (say) China over the next 10 years will be far more significant an influence on the UK’s GDP than Brexit.

  29. @Chris Miller

    Actually no. Brexit is a major event by the standards of macroeconomics – it’s a structural shift of a significant magnitude. In the event forecast by the BoE, of a reduction of 0.8% in growth, this is per annum for a period, which is why the long run size of the economy would be much smaller – perhaps on the order of 8-10% over the 10-15 year time frame that I mentioned above. However, since some deals would no doubt be done, this represents a worse case scenario and the error bars on this forecast are fairly large.

    Why is Brexit important macroeconomically? Because the UK economy is optimised currently to trade with the continent. Supply chains and product specialization are predicated on access to the single market. At the same time, it should be noted that the idea that it would lead to a significant short term dislocation are also misplaced – the EU single market relies on global supply chains as well as ones internal to the EU and there may be no alternative to the existing UK-EU trade patterns. What will happen is that there will be incrementally less investment in UK-EU trade, and on the offsetting side more investment in UK-Rest of the World trade. Hence the 3-5% shrinkage over 10-15 years. Note that these are forecasts, but the reasoning behind them looks OK – it is possible that Brexit might lead to the UK economy being better than if it had not left, although one requires fairly heroic assumptions and this is a low probability outcome. It’s also possible that the effects will be worse, along the lines of the WTO very hard and no compensating factors, which gets us the extreme version above.

    A Chinese recession would be a relatively temporary affair. At some point China will reach maturity and this will cause a major dislocation, akin to the problems faced by Japan in the 1990s, when its economy slowed, but even this is likely to have less impact on the UK than Brexit. (China just isn’t that much of UK trade.)

    Note that if China falls apart due to the slowdown and a major civil war breaks out, this would have a worse effect…

  30. Ken: My main reason for Leaving was a perception that the EU will fall apart in the next couple of decades, possibly sooner, and we really don’t want to be lumbered with the costs and aggravation that would bring us were we still in. If we’re out, then UK-EU trade would suffer but by then hopefully we’ve developed good trading relationships with RoW so that the damage will be to a smaller proportion of UK trade.

    Of course the effects of an EU collapse would be much wider than just trade but again we can take independent actions to counter the impact on us rather than being dictated to by a Brussels in a complete panic.

  31. @Ken

    Yes, I realise they’re predicting 0.8% pa for 15 years, which simply makes it even more laughable. They can’t predict next quarter’s GDP to 3 sig figs (nor can anyone else), but apparently 5 sig figs for 15 years is just cushty.

    It’s all based on “all other things being equal”, which they never are. When economic conditions change, economic behaviour changes with them, and anyone who claims to be able to predict with great accuracy how that will all turn out is just reading tea-leaves.

  32. I welcome “Stalinist Liar” Ratty & “Yeh bu’ , no bu’ ” Batty as the Corbyn tribute act leading Labour; but please God don’t let them win a GE

    Left and Numbers

    In a bid to get his head round the BBC’s vast, Kafka-esque bureaucracy, Auntie’s former chairman Michael Grade visited the HR department after taking over in 2004.

    He met a woman there, he said, who told him: ‘I’ve been brought in to do an audit of our overseas staff . . . we don’t know how many people we’ve got working overseas.’

    He was told it had taken a year so far and would take a year more

    OT From same article

    Interviewed by environmental activist Greta Thunberg as she guest edited Radio 4’s Today programme, Sir David Attenborough told the Swedish teenager she had ‘aroused the world’.

    Too much, perhaps, for the BBC News website, which mysteriously quoted the veteran broadcaster as having informed Greta she had ‘woken up the world’ to climate change.

    Certainly a more ‘woke’ version.

  33. @NDReader
    @jgh +1

    GMC & RCN in collusion with Gov’t and Unis limit number of places for UK applicants

    A good start would be abolishing Blair’s Nursing Degree and going back to ‘apprenticeships’

    Cleverly on QT “We’re opening six new medical schools to train new doctors”, silently whispers ‘for non-UK only’. Great, furrins pay for their training, then we employ some – hmm

    @Andrew C January 7, 2020 at 8:54 pm

    Re Big Issue seller a self employed worker

    Did that Tribunal negate all the fake SE HMRC & DWP had outlawed?

    Any links?

    @Rob January 8, 2020 at 9:53 am

    “For the millionth fucking time, only GDP per head matters” +10

    Shame Gov’t won’t admit this, instead it’s always ‘more in work than eva’

    Blair & Brown destroyed UK, although Major & Clarke laid the foundations

  34. Chris Miller.

    Of course it’s based on all other things being equal and a lot of assumptions. Doesn’t mean the impact estimate isn’t in the right ball park though. The estimated impact of Brexit is the change to the long run growth path, it’s not trying to forecast the absolute level nor the fluctuations in trend. From memory it’s similar to the impact of the global financial crisis on UK long run growth, in this case caused by the shifting of resources from bubbly bits of finance and related services.

    Yes HMT project fear projections were too pessimistic, but I’m confident (95% level) that the impact of Brexit will be negative.

  35. @tractor gent

    The Euro is a disaster waiting to happen. Either they throw in fiscal transfers or places in the southern periphery face constant crises. The UK will still suffer most of the indirect costs (trade related ones) as a result of a continental crisis as the EU will remain the UK’s primary trading partner even if we get a hard Brexit and WTO trade, basically because of proximity and existing ties. It would avoid labour inflows from the crisis (for better and worse – local labour market disruption is “better” and the potential of labour inflows is the “worse”). Leaving means not paying for bailouts a la Greece, although there were no losses on the euro crisis loans, any major future euro crisis could lead to losses plus greater transfers. The inidrect costs probably outweigh the direct costs by an order of magnitude.

    If the UK stayed might they mitigate the future disaster? Probably not.

  36. ” it is possible that Brexit might lead to the UK economy being better than if it had not left, although one requires fairly heroic assumptions and this is a low probability outcome.”

    Rather like the probability that Mrs T’s economic policy in 1981 would work. A lot of economists said that was a very low probability event, and they were all utterly wrong.

    Point me to an economist who has correctly predicted economic growth decades into the future (hell even a year or two on a regular basis)and I might take them a bit more seriously. Everyone else is sticking pins in dartboards, occasionally they hit the bullseye, more often than not they don’t. But still keep on with the predictions regardless. They have no shame…….

    Economic forecasting is rather like weather prediction – the most accurate strategy is to say tomorrow will be pretty much like today, plus or minus a bit. However this never predicts step changes in patterns, which happen very often in weather forecasting, and at regular (though infrequent) times in economic forecasting. The truth is neither weather forecasters nor economic ones have any real idea whats happening, they’re just playing a statistical average game. When a fundamental change in the underlying system occurs they’re lost.

  37. @Ken
    I agree that it’s very likely that the short-term (one or two years) impact of Brexit will be negative. Apart from other consideration, if it weren’t, it would be the first case in human history of a significant change taking place without short-term negativity. But 15 years out? You’re ‘avin’ a giraffe, mate.

  38. In case anyone is still checking this thread…

    One minor amusement of Ken’s post about the issue of “self employed” East European Big Issue sellers, is that the judge who finally kiboshed it – Kate Markus QC – was previously Chair of the Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers, and resigned as Vice President of the Society when she was appointed as a judge.

    Left-wing judges, eh?

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