Conference Paper North American Regional Science Conference 58
Eastern European immigrants in the UK before and after the 2004 European enlargement
The 2004 accession of Eastern European countries to the EU has generated concerns about the influx of low-skill immigrants to those countries which did not impose restrictions to immigration, namely Ireland, Sweden, and the UK. However, there is lack of recent systematic evidence on the level of immigration and the quality of the new immigrants. We focus on the UK and combine the British and the European Labour Force Surveys to analyse whether immigration to the UK has changed substantially before and after the 2004 EU enlargement, and as a consequence of the recent economic downturn. We analyse 1) trends of immigration into the UK of people from Eastern European countries, and how these trends compare to trends in immigration from Western European countries; and 2) how such immigrants fare in the British labour market in terms of employment probability, wages, and job quality compared to British natives, to earlier immigrants, and to people in the country of origin.