EUROPEAN immigrants are more productive than workers born in the UK and will be a valuable addition to the economy, economists said yesterday.
Migrants are less likely to claim benefits than native Britons and are more likely to be in work, the Centre for Economics and Business Research and the Harvey Nash Group argued.
The analysts estimate tighter immigration controls would result in a loss of two per cent from GDP by 2050, a fall of £60bn in real terms.
As a result government borrowing would be 0.5 per cent higher.
Its analysis found 63.3 per cent of migrants are in work, well above the 56.2 per cent of UK-born citizens, and that the number of non-UK EU citizens in work in Britain has more than doubled in the last decade from 762,000 to 1.65m.
Many of the migrants are more skilled than those born in the UK – they are more likely to be in managerial occupations and earn an average of 7.6 per cent more than those born here.
“Non-UK EU born workers are bringing much needed skills and value to the UK and there is little evidence that EU immigrants are having a negative impact on wages or unemployment,” said Harvey Nash Group chief executive Albert Ellis.
“In fact, immigrants are helping to create jobs – a broad and diverse labour market fuels growth as this report shows.”