Government figures underestimating immigration
More than three quarters of a million immigrants came to
The numbers helped to send net migration soaring by an estimated 400,000 rather than the government figure of 185,000.
The report by the City forecaster Capital Economics also suggests that 50,000 workers from
Although the Government has placed restrictions on low-skilled Bulgarians and Romanians coming to work here, they can still come as visitors. “It is quite likely that many will stay and work in the black economy,” the report said.
The report also said that the arrival of more than 600,000 migrants from eight former Soviet bloc states since 2004 would continue to encourage others to travel to seek work. In the short term this would lead to the workforce growing more rapidly than employment over the next two years, with a consequent rise in unemployment.
The Capital Economics report said that it was unwise to rely on official figures which suggested net migration had peaked and had fallen from 223,000 in 2004 to 185,000 in 2005. The International Passenger Survey, on which official figures are based, was unreliable as it only counts people saying they intend to stay for more than a year, it said. When workers from the eight former Soviet bloc states were included in figures, the overall level of immigration rose to 780,000 in 2005 compared with a government figure of 524,000.