The idea that a business whose business is moving people across borders would have any vested commercial interest to serve by promoting migration's 'benefits' is, of course, ridiculous.
However, during the course of researching yesterday's post 'Pray Or Pay'
I came across the thoughts of a gentleman named Albert Ellis.
"Mr Brown warned against "the threat of protectionism" and insisted that overall the UK stood to gain from globalisation, "not just because we are among the most stable economies in the world but because we are the most open economy".
Moreover, Britain's "openness extends to embracing new ideas, and new influences".
A stark example of how such openness can help fuel economic growth was provided by a survey published at the CBI conference, which found that skilled migrant workers accounted for 5% of the UK's gross domestic product (GDP).
"The UK is now so heavily dependent on its migrants, that dispensing with them would cost the UK the equivalent of 100 new hospitals and more than 500 new schools, or approximately £54bn," the Harvey Nash/Centre for Economic and Business Research survey said.
"Economic migration has many detractors, but clearly what we are seeing here is unquestionably positive and beneficial to the UK," said Albert Ellis, chief executive, Harvey Nash. "
The Centre for Economic and Business Research is not a think tank, but a private consultancy
. It's a business, so presumably it's in business for the purpose of making a profit.
One does not wish to be considered as impugning its staff's professional integrity, the quality of its research or the methods it uses to analyse data in any way whatsoever; however Douglas McWilliams, its CEO, is on the record both on UKIP's website
and The Daily Express
as having punted Mervyn King's old line from June 2005, that migration has kept down wage inflation
, as recently as August 2006.
McWilliams is also on the record as predicting that 'in the global labor market a combination of population growth and spreading literacy will expand the world’s labor force from 600 million, at present, to about 4,000 million in 25 years, with real hourly labor costs in Europe declining by over 1% per year over the same period'
- in other words, the global labour arbitrage
red in tooth and claw.
"New research by professional services and outsourcing company, Harvey Nash, highlights how the UK would lose GBP54.3 billion a year without the assistance of professional and managerial workers from overseas.
The study, conducted jointly with economic think-tank, the Centre for Economic and Business Research and published at this years' CBI Conference, clearly shows that the UK is now heavily dependent on its migrants to the tune of GBP54.3 billion - the figure attributed directly to them in terms of additional value added to the economy. The benefits of inward migration extend not only to plugging skills gaps, but also by the value added by migrants spending their cash in the UK on consumer items - known as the "multiplier effect"...
Albert Ellis, Chief Executive of Harvey Nash said:
"The sheer size of the contribution foreign skilled workers make to the UK economy in purely financial terms is quite unexpected. The UK benefits from migration by more than GBP50 billion each year, a figure expected to grow in the years ahead. Economic migration has many detractors, but clearly what we are seeing here is unquestionably positive and beneficial to the UK as a whole. In fact, the UK could not do without its influx of economic migrants."
He continued, "This trend is positive in so many ways - migrants employed by UK businesses are mainly in the Technology and Financial Services sectors. The skills and knowledge they bring are crucial in driving growth and in many cases innovation in some of our most successful companies. Secondly, migrants indirectly support around 200,000 other jobs by spending their wages in the UK, creating further "multiplier" effects."
"In general, several sectors - the NHS for example - would cease to operate effectively without the help of migrant workers. The NHS takes many thousands of migrants as workers - over 30% of NHS nursing roles are held by recent migrants to the UK. So the effect we are seeing is not a temporary blip - the UK is vastly dependent on its migrants to sustain its steady economic growth and will be for the foreseeable future".
A summary of the research report can be found at www.harveynash.com or at www.cbi.org.uk"
I do try to look for these things, but I can't find summary of the research on Harvey Nash's website. However, I did find the thoughts of Albert Ellis
"...the good news is that the UK is attracting great professional and managerial talent from around the world. As new Harvey Nash/CEBR research reveals, this highly skilled migrant talent in 2005 accounted for an additional 5% of GDP…thats nearly £55 billion! And this is not Polish plumbers or Bulgarian waiters….it’s £55 billion of value generated by highly skilled professional migrant talent."
If anyone finds it there, please let me know, with my apologies to Harvey Nash.
Both sentiments also apply to the CBI
- I can't find the summary there either.
In any event, PR Newswire carries 'Key Points of the Research' -
"Current highly-skilled migrants
- There were 636,000 Professional and managerial migrants in the UK in 2005. In 1995, there were 380,000, meaning an increase of 256,000 or 25,500 per year
- Professional and skilled migrant workers represent 2.4% of the UK's labour force
- Over 40% of economic migrants reside in London, contributing GBP13.3 bn to London's economy
- The majority (36.1%) of professional and managerial migrants work in education/health and local/national government sectors
- 2005 saw 36,000 migrants arrive - a 6.1% rise on 2004, with the majority of highly-skilled migrants coming from the EU and EU accession states. Other significant flows came from Asia (9,100) and North America (4,500)
- Migrants produced GBP32 billion worth of output in 2005 or 3% of UK GVA.
- The IT, health and teaching professions were the largest occupation groups to arrive - IT and healthcare are the biggest - in 1995, 2142 software specialists came to the UK. In 2005, the figure increased to 20,900.
- London is the biggest net receiver of migrants. In 2005, approximately 263,000 of migrants were working in London.
- The South-East is the second biggest absorber of migrants - 97,000 have been attracted to the South East/East of England.
- Schools, hospitals and public administration are the biggest occupational sectors in which migrants are employed
- Regions least affected by migrants are Wales, the North-East and Northern Ireland.
Indirect impact of skilled migrants
- Spending by skilled migrants supports 209,000 jobs in the UK or an extra GBP9.1 billion added to GDP.
- Economic migrants indirectly supported GBP22billion of the UK's output in 2005
- IT, telecommunications and related sectors are a close second, with service industries and financial services as the next biggest sector
- The biggest net contributors in terms of GVA are not in public administration ort healthcare - they are in IT and banking/financial services
Total economic Impact
- The total economic impact of skilled migrant workers in 2005 is estimated to be GBP54.3 billion or equivalent, 5% of domestic output (GVA/GDP)
- Output gains in the transport and communications sector benefits more than any other sector from highly- skilled migrants. They boosted this sector by just over GBP12 billion. "
Mentioning how much migrants add to the economy by way of spending is pointless without also mentioning how much they consume in terms of services; schools, healthcare, road usage, housing , etc.
That the majority work in 'education/health and local/national government sectors' is merely an expression of current political priorities, and thus subject to change. All it means is that migrants work in the public sector. Such references do nothing to enhance the economic case for migration per se.
The 'benefits' gained from migrants working in IT must be weighed against the 'losses' incurred as a result of their employment upon indigenous IT experts
And it is pointless, utterly pointless, to quote migration as having an 'economic impact' of '5% of GDP', without referring to what gain in GDP per capita it might bring.