Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) briefing on UK migration

16 August 2017

The main purpose of this note is to provide some preliminary analysis of the UK labour market and other countries’ migration systems to kick-start the call for evidence. The note does not make any policy recommendations nor provide any conclusions. It asks questions rather than answers them.

This note first describes the traditional MAC approach to making recommendations about migration policy based on maximising the “total welfare of the resident population”. It makes the point that, because the impact of different types of migrants is likely to be different, such an approach is likely to lead to a policy that seeks to select migrants. The third section describes the implication of economic theory for the types of migrants that might be favoured under such a policy. The fourth section outlines some of the criteria that might be used to select migrants and provides a brief overview of the current employment of EEA migrants (considering occupation, industry, region, age and self-employment). Finally, the paper briefly discusses some of the methods used internationally to manage migration and where possible, it reflects on the bureaucratic burdens associated with immigration controls as different methods are likely to have different impacts