The UK economy is 3 percent bigger today than it would have been if it wasn’t for immigration since 1997. But the impact is getting more significant, with immigration accounting for no less than 1 percent of GDP in 2005/06, says the NATIONAL INSTITUTE ECONOMIC REVIEW.

And since most immigrants do not draw on public spending, they are likely to make a net life-time contribution to the exchequer and thus contribute to the welfare of the rest of the population.

But, while the economic effect of immigration has been good for the UK for a while, some areas are worse off, says the NIESR report. 27.6 per cent of post-1997 immigrants work in elementary occupations as compared to 18.9 per cent of the population as a whole. This difference is largely because recent immigrants from Central and Eastern Europe have disproportionately entered low-skill occupations Given the employment structure of these immigrants, it is likely to depress wages in low-skill posts. Depending on the eventual occupational structure of these immigrants, it may interact with the minimum wage and other labour market rigidities to lead to a small long-term effect on unemployment.

© Investment & Business News 2013