PwC and London First have published a first-of-its-kind analysis of the role of migration on London’s economy – Facing Facts: the impact of migrants on London, its workforce and economy.
The analysis draws on a comprehensive range of information, including detailed ONS Labour Force Survey data.
The report shows how London’s total workforce has grown from 4.3 million people in 2005 to just under 5.2m, comprising of people from around the UK, the EU and the rest of the world.
Figures show 3.2m of London’s workforce were born in the UK accounting for just over 60% of in-work Londoners.
A total of 682,300 workers were born in the EU (13% of London’s workforce) – this has more than doubled over the last ten years, rising from 326,700 in 2005.
A total of 1.3m workers were born outside the EU (25%), up from 1m in 2005.
The analysis finds that London’s growing workforce is significantly contributing to economic growth and helping to create more jobs in the capital, with the economic value generated by London’s 1.8m migrant workers estimated at £83 billion annually – approximately 22% of the capital’s Gross Value Added (GVA).
On average, a migrant worker in a full-time job in London contributes an additional £46,000 net in GVA each year to the economy.
The additional GVA generated by ten migrant worker jobs will support an additional four jobs in the wider economy, says the report.
Chief executive of London First, Jasmine Whitbread, said:
“As the government debates what the UK’s post-Brexit immigration policy should be, it’s critical we’re informed by the facts. Global migration is an important part of London’s ongoing success – many parts of our economy would struggle without it. Today’s report is a significant step forwards in setting out the facts and providing the clearest picture to date of the people living and working in London.”
Global head of immigration at PwC and a member of the Mayor of London’s Brexit expert advisory panel, Julia Onslow-Cole, added:
“This research provides businesses with new information to help them assess their future resourcing requirements ahead of the UK’s exit from the EU. Employers have much to consider from an immigration and skills perspective – they need to analyse the impact of immigration changes on their business and, if they are reliant on EU workers, consider the medium- to long-term implications."
“This research provides food for thought for policy makers – and it’s imperative that businesses take the opportunity to respond to the Industrial Strategy consultation and collaborate with the government on education and skills training, in order to up-skill future generations of workers.”
Other findings from the report include London tends to attract skilled workers, defined as someone with specific proficiency, training, knowledge and ability in their profession. Nearly 60% of people from the EU-15 countries are in managerial and professional roles in London.
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