"In his recent speech to Labour Party conference Jeremy Corbyn said, “It isn’t migrants that drive down wages, it’s exploitative employers and the politicians who deregulate the labour market and rip up trade union rights.”
This is...entirely correct. It is probably the best
statement ever made by a Labour leader on this issue.
It used to be regularly argued, and not just by far right or fascist
groups, that immigrant workers take British workers' jobs. This has more
recently been supplanted with the notion that migrant labour has driven
down wages. Both are equally wrong.
The claims that immigrants take jobs became harder to sustain as the
level of the overseas migrant population reached record highs in Britain
at the same time as a record high level of employment overall and a
record high for employment of UK-born workers.
Even so, the most recent
Tory party conference tried to revive the racist claims, with lists of
foreign workers, removing overseas doctors from the NHS and prioritising
immigration controls over economic prosperity. Some of these have
already fallen apart while they would all be deeply damaging to the UK
economy, as well as fanning the flames of racism.
In fact, as shown in Chart 1 [above] the record number of migrant workers now
coincides with a record employment rate for workers in the UK.
beginning of 1997 the number of migrant (non-UK born) workers in the UK
has risen from just under 2 million to nearly 5.5 million in mid-2016.
At the same time the employment rate of workers in the UK has risen from
70.8% to 74.5%, a new all-time high (the unemployment rate is also
close to its all-time low at 4.9%). No-one is having their job taken by a
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