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Dr Thees Spreckelsen and Professor Martin Seeleib-Kaiser analysed UK Quarterly Labour Force survey data between 2010 and 2014 and found that migrants from central and eastern Europe (defined as those from the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia) scored the highest, with 82% of them in employment compared with 73% of young people born in the UK.
Workers born in the UK did an average 40-hour working week, but most EU migrants did at least an hour more, according the data analysis. It also reveals that while 8.5% of those born in the UK were unemployed in the period studied, just five per cent of those from central and eastern Europe said they had been without a job during that time in the UK.
The researchers found that migrants from central and eastern Europe are much more likely than UK nationals to go into manufacturing, while young people from Bulgaria and Romania – classified as a separate group by the researchers – are more likely than any other group to work in construction and as likely to work in financial services as UK youths.
Recent young European migrant workers from central and eastern Europe, and Bulgaria and Romania, are often overqualified for the jobs they are working in. However, young migrants from the rest of the EU and outside Europe did better than expected in the jobs they secured when matched with the median for qualifications held by others in the same occupation.