There was some coverage in the right wing press yesterday about a new Migration Watch ‘report‘ purportedly linking Eastern European immigration with youth unemployment. Migration Watch statistical analysis has been covered here before. Even the report itself claims nothing more than a ‘gut instinct’ though:
Youth unemployment in the UK increased by almost 450,000 in the period from 2004 Q1 to 2011 Q3, from 575,000 to 1,016,000. Over the same period, numbers of workers from the A8 countries grew by 600,000. Correlation is not, of course, proof of causation but, given the positive employability characteristics and relative youth of migrants from these countries, it is implausible and counter-intuitive to conclude – as the previous Government and some economists have done – that A8 migration has had virtually no impact on UK youth unemployment in this period.
It really is nothing more than nastiness, akin to rumours and lies about immigrants being dirty, causing crime, causing racism, stealing women and stealing jobs. Oh, hang on a minute…
playing withconducting serious research on The Interwebs and have some alternative theories to explain the rise in youth unemployment:
- The name Oliver has become much more popular since 2004 as a baby name. This is surely no coincidence: the increase must be looked into as a cause of youth unemployment and further research is required.
- The RSPB reports that the Woodlark population is recovering and has been moved up from the red to the amber endangered list. A coincidence that youth unemployment has increased at the same time? Don’t be so naive! These innocent seeming birds are a fifth column.
- If you look at the left hand ridge of the Matterhorn in the above image, you can see a startling similarity with the Migration Watch graph on youth unemployment. A coincidence? I think not! This mountain should be pulled in for questioning immediately.
- The number of times I’ve begun sentences with the words ‘if it were up to me…’ since 2004 has been increasing year on year, and having sat down to plot occurrences I am pretty sure that there must be a link to youth unemployment. I blame myself, and will try and stop. That should sort things out.
I wonder if the Daily Mail will be covering my new report?
Alternatively, if you want to see some proper debunking, see Matt Cavanagh in the New Stateman and the new National Institute of Economic and Social Research report out today on employment and immigration, which says there is no link.