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Worklessness in London: disentangling structural

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Migration and the London economy
key developments
Ian Gordon
Geography Department / LSE London
London School of Economics
Conference on �Migration and the transformation of London: in
international perspective’, LSE, 27th June 2014
London’s New Migrant Workforce
• Among London’s working age pop (not in education)
• 37% came from abroad in past 30 years (26% in past 15)
• Split 3:1 poor:rich country origins
• tho’ many others from Rich Cs have come and gone
60% have higher/age21+ qualifications [cf 51% UK born]
85% male migrants are working [cf. 82% UK-born]
• tho’ only 65% females [cf. 76% UK born].
• just 3% are claiming benefit [cf 4% UK-born]
• migrant hourly pay 14% below UK-born on average
• tho’ gap only 10% for those in UK 15-30 years
• and wide rich/poor country contrast : +14% versus -27%
• Not simple dualisation
• Great variety of migrants / experiences
• But linked to both ends of this (very unequal) city economy
At the Bottom End of the Labour Market
• In worst paying 20% of jobs:
• half
of all London workers are (post-’84) migrants
• including half of new migrants from poor countries
•though these progressively move on over time
• Crowding-in depresses wages in this quintile
• by up to 15% in wake of peak inflow around 2000
• national minimum wage scarcely moderates this in London
• Has stimulated increase in this segment of jobs
• But lowered work incentive for all marginal groups
• with significantly fewer reporting interest in paid work
At Top End
• Proportion of highly qualified migrants:
• always has been higher in London than in RUK
• but boosted since introduction of point-based controls
• now c.94% for rich countries and c. 70% for poor countries
• Still issues raised about impact on high skill recruiting
• but half of Tier 2 admissions coming to London jobs
• 25-30% to City/Westminster/Tower hamlets alone
• part of general link to finance/ITC and big cities
• as elsewhere, many on intra-company transfers
• including IT workers notably from India
• May be positive impacts on innovation
• but not as strong/clear yet as for US
• especially on commercialisation
• might depend a lot on which migrants
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