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Migrants are contributing less to strong UK jobs growth after Brexit vote, says analyst

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A SENIOR analyst has said migrants’ contribution to a strong UK jobs market is “starting to turn”, claiming they were having less impact.

Laura Gardiner, senior research and policy analyst at think tank Resolution Foundation, said while migrants had contributed to employment growth in the past, it looked as if that was beginning to be no longer the case.

New figures from the Office for National Statistics show there are 31.84million people in work, 312,000 more than a year earlier, bringing the employment rate to 74.6 per cent – its highest level since records began in 1971.

Speaking on the World at One on BBC Radio 4, Ms Gardiner said jobs growth had continued, despite concerns over uncertainty after the Brexit vote last June.

She said: “We’ve had really strong jobs growth in a number of regions in the UK in recent years. We have had migrants contributing to that picture in the past although it looks like that might be starting to turn.

“And we’ve done really well in certain areas for groups who often don’t participate in the labour market like single parents and some improvements with people with disabilities.

“So it reflects a strong jobs market with high levels of demand and the question is whether that can push any further in the coming period of uncertainty as we go through the process of leaving the EU.”

She added a growth in self employment had been a “really important factor”.

The unemployment rate is just 4.7 per cent – the lowest level since 1975 – with 1.56 million jobless people in the three months to February, 141,000 fewer compared to the same period last year, according to the ONS.

At the same time, wages are 2.3 per cent higher including bonuses, and 2.2 per cent excluding them, compared to last year.