Migrants from the European Union (EU) living in Britain are more likely to have jobs than UK nationals, a Brussels report has admitted.
In figures that are likely to boost the Brexit campaign, the report says that 85.9 per cent of EU citizens living in the UK are employed, compared to 80.9 per cent of Brits.
They are also far more likely to have jobs than non-EU migrants – just 69.2 per cent of whom are employed in Britain.
There is also a contrast with other major European economies such as Germany and France, where native citizens are more likely to have jobs than new arrivals from elsewhere in the EU.
The figures are yet more evidence of how EU migrants are faring better in Britain’s job market than native Brits.
In April, a leaked government report suggested that large-scale EU immigration was damaging British society as highly qualified migrants were taking lower-skilled jobs from Britons who did not have similar qualifications.
In fact, EU nationals accounted for 75 per cent of the growth in the UK’s employment figures.
“Newly arriving EEA [European Economic Area] nationals have a disproportionate impact on the UK,” the report said.
“Numbers in employment in the UK grew by nearly 450,000 in the last year. EEA nationals secured about three quarters of that growth in employment, compared to 25 per cent for UK nationals.”
The report added that higher-qualified Eastern Europeans are also “over-represented in low-skilled sectors in the UK – in-work benefits can act as a subsidy for them to take and stay in these jobs, damaging UK social policy objectives”.
Responding to the latest figures, Theresa Villiers, the Northern Ireland Secretary who is backing Brexit, told the Telegraph: “It is people in lower paid work who face the most direct consequences of EU migration in terms of ever-increasing competition for jobs. These figures are further evidence that wages are being squeezed as a result of high levels of EU migration. We can’t go on as we are.
“It is people in lower paid work who face the most direct consequences of EU migration in terms of ever increasing competition for jobs. These figures are further evidence that wages are being squeezed as a result of high levels of EU migration. We can’t go on as we are.”