Migrant numbers ‘lower than in 2009’

30 Mar 2015 | Posted by Carl Thomas

The number of migrants arriving in the UK during the final full year of the current Parliament was lower than during the last year of the previous Government, according to new research.

The figure stood at 725,000 in 2009 compared to 608,000 in 2014, the Oxford University Migration Observatory report said. The researchers, commissioned to look at the issue for the Financial Times, concluded that the number of people coming to the UK in the last five years has fallen.

The report looked at the numbers of migrants from within the European Union and those from outside of the EU who require a UK visa to work in Britain. There were 100,000 fewer EU migrant workers arriving in 2014 than five years previously, and 89,000 fewer non-EU workers arriving in the same time period.

The fall in migrant workers from outside the EU was largely due to Government moves to make it more difficult to obtain a UK visa, the report concluded.

Researchers also found that many of those people coming to the UK from within the EU were likely to be from ‘old’ member nations such as Spain and Italy, whose own economies were in difficulty. The figure rose from 86,000 to 121,000. They were more likely to come to the UK for skilled jobs, while those from newer Eastern European member states still tended to find themselves in low skilled employment.

Madeleine Sumption, director of the Migration Observatory, said: “While it’s difficult to predict migration flows in the next five years it’s clear that what happens to migration from old EU countries could have a significant impact on the overall skill profile of the new migrant workforce in the future.”