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Fall in EU workers driving up unemployment as well as wages

Posted by Warwick Business School at 13 November 2018, 15:50 CET |
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Expert comment by Professor Guglielmo Meardi, director of the Industrial Relations Research Unit at Warwick Business School. He is an expert in the economic impact of migrant workers.

Guglielmo Meardi, professor of industrial relations at Warwick Business School, said:

"The record fall in the number of EU workers is not just linked with wage growth, it is also linked with the rise in unemployment.

"In some occupations these EU workers are competitors for British workers and employers now have to pay more to recruit the remaining British or foreign workforce.

"However, in other sectors they are complementary to British workers and are needed to keep business alive. Without them businesses are forced to close, contributing to the rise in unemployment.

"Ending free movement now appears to be a totally pointless aim for the UK. The effect of announcing this policy was more than enough to bring down net immigration from the EU and, given earning and demographic trends, it is very unlikely to be reversed."

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