Young Britons Beaten to Jobs by 'New Servant Class' of Immigrants
Immigrants have formed a new 'servant class' that has pushed young Britons out of the jobs market, it was claimed yesterday.
As the scale of new arrivals from Romania and Bulgaria was laid bare, official figures revealed that 917,000 under-25s are still out of work.
Overall, the jobless total in the UK fell by 125,000 in the final three months of last year to 2.34million.
And while the number of young unemployed has fallen, the figures prompted former Labour welfare minister Frank Field to call for curbs on benefits for young people to encourage them to fight immigrants for jobs.
He said the influx of migrants has led to a Downton Abbey-style culture where rich foreigners hire fellow countrymen for roles once done by young working-class Britons.
Mr Field – a former poverty adviser to David Cameron – said: 'Today's unemployment figures contain one particularly disturbing element – the stubbornly high number of young people who are still out of work, 917,000 of them.
'The awful truth is that huge numbers of unemployed young people either don't try, or lose out to new arrivals eager to work.
'A new servant class, equal to that of Downton Abbey times, has been recreated. It's not upstairs and downstairs any more, though. The elite bring the servant class in when they want cleaning done, ironing, gardening, decorating and so on.'
Mr Field, writing in the London Evening Standard, added: 'The question to be faced is how long should we pay benefit to young people, many of whom live in areas where there are jobs, even if they are taken by immigrants? Shouldn't we have a more level playing field here by limiting the time young people can draw benefit if they live in a buoyant job market?'
The official figures suggest the situation could become more acute now that workplace restrictions have been lifted on Bulgarian and Romanian migrants.
The Office for National Statistics revealed that of the 424,503 people who found work in the 12 months to the end of last year, 41,670 were born in Romania and Bulgaria.
In the run-up to curbs being removed on January 1 there were almost 144,000 people born in the two countries who had a job, compared to fewer than 102,000 in the last three months of 2012.
Among Romanian and Bulgarian nationals the figure was slightly lower, taking into account those who were born in the two countries but have changed nationality.
Among this group, 124,716 were in work, up 34 per cent year-on-year. Mr Cameron was criticised last month when he claimed that the numbers of Romanians and Bulgarians moving to the UK had been reasonable since January 1, despite admitting he had seen no official figures.
In the three months from October to December there were 30.24million people in work, up 1.4 per cent on the same time a year before.
Among people born in the UK, the number in work rose by 1.1 per cent and by 3 per cent among people from the rest of the European Union.
But most striking was the sharp increase in the number of people born in Romania and Bulgaria finding jobs ahead of the removal of work restrictions.
There were 143,598 people from these countries working in the last quarter of 2013, up 6 per cent on July to September and up 41 per cent year-on-year.
A separate analysis published yesterday by the Home Office said: 'Lower-skilled employment has been falling consistently for UK nationals over the past decade, while such employment has been growing among foreign nationals.'
Mr Field said that has frozen out young jobseekers unwilling to take lower-skilled jobs. He said: 'The eagerness to work of many immigrants puts some of us to shame. A mate of mine runs a coffee shop. During his first ten years in London on most days somebody came in to ask if he had a job.
'Not one of these enquiries came from an unemployed Londoner. Four years on, one English person came in to ask for work. But unlike the eager new arrivals, our local Brit could never be relied on to turn up every day.'
A source close to Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith said: 'The truth is that this month's figures show that UK nationals made up nearly nine-tenths of the rise in employment in the last year.
'That's in stark contrast to the situation under the last Labour government - when the number of British people in work plummeted at the same time as the number of migrant workers soared to new heights.
'Labour betrayed thousands of hardworking people across the UK – we are repairing the damage they caused.
'Since 2010 this government's long-term economic plan has helped create 1.6 million new private sector jobs – that's 1.6 million people in work and earning who might otherwise have been left to rely on benefits.
'Our plan has also involved taking decisive steps on welfare and immigration: to prevent abuse of free movement and protect the integrity of the UK benefits system. Our plan will secure a better future for Britain.'
David Cameron was criticised last month when he claimed that the numbers of Romanians and Bulgarians moving to the UK had been 'reasonable' since January 1, despite admitting he had seen no official figures.
Amid rising public anxiety before Christmas, Mr Cameron announced EU migrants will have to wait for at least three months before they can claim any out-of-work benefits under emergency regulations which took effect from January 1.
EU migrants had been able to start claiming jobseeker's allowance and other benefits within weeks of arriving – prompting concern that some people are arriving, signing on and only then looking for work.
The changes were made to coincide with the lifting of restrictions on Romanians and Bulgarians working in the UK, also on January 1.
The figures for the numbers working in the UK are expected to rise again for the first three months of 2014.
In a boost for the government overall levels of youth and long-term unemployment have both fallen, but there has been little change in the number of people classed as economically inactive, which has remained just under nine million.
Employment Minister Esther McVey said: 'With employment continuing to increase, it's clear that the Government's long-term plan to build a stronger, more secure economy is helping businesses create jobs and get people into work.
'Record numbers of women are in work and youth unemployment continues to fall, which means more people have the security of a regular wage and can plan for their future.'
The jobless total was 2.34 million in the final quarter of last year, down by 125,000, giving a rate of 7.2 per cent.
The number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance dipped to 1.22 million in January, down by 27,000 - the 15th consecutive monthly fall.
More women are in work than at any time since records began in 1971, at just over 14 million, today's data from the Office for National Statistics showed.
But 1.4 million people are in part-time jobs because they cannot find full-time work, a fall of 29,000 over the latest quarter but 46,000 higher than a year ago.
Employment now stands at more than 30 million, a rate of 72.1 per cent, which is 0.6 per cent higher than a year ago.
The unemployment rate will remain a key focus, but is no longer linked to the Bank of England's pledge to keep interest rates at record lows after governor Mark Carney unveiled a new forward guidance policy last week.
The Bank had pledged not to consider a rate rise until unemployment fell to 7 per cent, but with that target set to be reached much earlier than expected, the guidance has been replaced.
Average earnings increased by 1.1 per cent in the year to December, 0.2 percentage points up on the previous month, giving average weekly earnings of ?478.
However, wage rises are still well below the 1.9 per cent rate of inflation revealed in separate figures yesterday.
The number of people out of work for longer than a year has fallen by 45,000 to 845,000, while 451,000 have been unemployed for over two years, down by 7,000.
There were 917,000 unemployed 16 to 24-year-olds in the latest quarter, down by 48,000 on the previous three months.
Job vacancies were up by 28,000 to 580,000, the highest since 2008.
Rachel Reeves, Labour's shadow work and pensions secretary, said: 'While today's fall in overall unemployment is welcome, the Government must not be complacent.
'More than 900,000 young people are still unemployed and over 250,000 young people have been unemployed for over a year.'
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