Unemployment: Foreign Workers

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 13th March 2007.

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Photo of Mark Field Mark Field Conservative, Cities of London and Westminster

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what assessment he has made of the effect of A2 and A8 migration on (a) unemployment and (b) measures to tackle unemployment in the UK.

Photo of Jim Murphy Jim Murphy Minister of State (Department for Work and Pensions) (Work)

In February 2006, DWP published a working paper on the impact of free movement of workers from Central and Eastern Europe on the UK labour market; copies have been placed in the Library. The paper found that there has been no discernible statistical effect of A8 migration on claimant unemployment.

A8 migrants can only usually access benefits once they have been working and registered with the Worker Registration Scheme for at least 12 months. A8 migrants not in receipt of benefit are unable to access Jobcentre Plus schemes. Similarly, A2 migrants cannot generally access the benefit system without having completed 12 months legal work.

We are continuing to monitor the impact of accession country migration on the UK labour market.

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