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Migration cap is doing little to help unemployed in the UK, says CIPD

A rise in net migration offers evidence that the temporary cap will do little to reduce net migration to the “tens of thousands”, according to the CIPD.

Official figures from the ONS Migration Statistics Quarterly Report show net migration has increased to 242, 000 in the three months to September 2010 - a rise of almost 50% compared with the corresponding figures last year.

Gerwyn Davies, public policy adviser at the CIPD, said: "News that net migration has increased comes as no surprise given the recent rise in the number of EU workers in employment in the UK, which is overshadowing a sharp fall in the number from outside the EU.

"While there are many drivers at play, it is no coincidence that this trend has coincided with the introduction of the temporary cap on non-EU workers, which seems to have opened up more opportunities for EU workers. This is consistent with employers who have said that they would look to the EU to recruit workers to fill vacancies that are sometimes difficult to fill, in response to the cap on non-EU migrant workers."

The latest figures from the CIPD's Labour Force Survey show the number of EU 14 nationals in employment has risen by 12% during the past year, while the number of EU 8 nationals has increased by 25%.

In contrast, the number of people in employment from New Zealand and Australia has fallen by more than a third, while the number of people in employment from USA has fallen by more than 10%. The number of UK nationals in employment has increased by 0.7%.

Davies added: "The figures offer further evidence that keeping out skilled non-EU workers won't help unemployed people in the UK in the near term, given the recent rise in the number of EU workers who - it should be stressed - have unlimited access to the UK labour market. It could however have real and negative consequences for both business and public sector organisations".