The Labour Market Integration of New Immigrants in Europe: Analysis and Policy Evaluation

Moving Up the Ladder? Labor Market Outcomes in the United Kingdom Amid Rising Immigration

The 2000s saw a significant increase in the foreign-born working-age population in the United Kingdom, in part because of the decision to forgo restrictions on the inflow of workers from the new European Union Member States. Starting in 2004, a large influx of labor from Eastern European countries—especially Poland, Latvia, and Lithuania—transformed the country’s immigrant population and labor market.

This report analyzes the labor market integration of recent immigrants to the United Kingdom, based on UK Labour Force Survey data.

The analysis distinguishes between different cohorts based on the year of their arrival in the country. Newcomers—especially those who have arrived since 2000—were far more likely than natives to be in the lowest-skilled jobs. And new arrivals from within the European Union were almost three times more likely to be in low-skilled work than natives in 2012. However, over time all groups showed some progress in moving out of the lowest-skilled jobs.