Speculative report regarding the number of Romanians and Bulgarians who will go to work in the UK in 2014, says Migration Matters Trust

Newsroom 19/08/2013 | 04:26

According to a report that was released by the Labour Force Survey (LFS), over 300.000 Romanians and Bulgarians will go to work in the UK in 2014, after the restriction permits will be suspended. Commenting on this report, Atul Hatwal, Director of the Migration Matters Trust, said that “the figures seem to suggest a large rise, but we need to be careful in drawing too many conclusions from the LFS for two reasons. First, the sample size is very small. Just 180 respondents were used to extrapolate these particular figures. According to the Office for National Statistics, the confidence interval on the sample is plus or minus 30,000. This means the actual result found by the Labour Force Survey is that the numbers of Romanians and Bulgarians in employment in Britain is somewhere in the range 111,000 to 171,000. Clearly, there is a wide margin of error on the reported figure of 141,000.

Second, the LFS will include Romanians and Bulgarians who are here for short term seasonal work of six months or less. The government’s net migration figures only include people migrating to Britain for a year or more. This means the LFS will inflate the potential total of migrants, as defined by the government, by including those who are here for short periods.

While it is likely there has been some rise in the numbers of Romanians and Bulgarians working in Britain, the scale of the rise and its value as a predictor of migration in 2014 following the end of transitional controls, is much more uncertain.”

In an analysis of evidence on potential migration from Bulgaria and Romania, the Migration Matters Trust presented the fact that Migration Watch’s central projection is a net increase of 50,000 per year, adding 250,000 to the UK population over 5 years, while they are predicting a net migration from Romania and Bulgaria to the UK to average 20,000 or less per year over the period 2014-2019.

In an Eurostat report, currently 96% of Romanian migrants to EU countries choose destinations other than the UK. The UK has 80,000 of 2.12m Romanian migrants in the EU. Italy and Spain have over 10 times the numbers of Romanian migrants (888,000 and 823,000 respectively) while Germany has 160,000 Romanian migrants.

Oana Vasiliu

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