Immigrants swarming into the country to take our jobs and live off benefits is a clichéd image, but research shows that labour migrants leave quickly if they are out of work.
According to research on labour immigration in the Netherlands, unemployment makes people return to their home country rather than staying on for a longer period to try for new employment.
‘A substantial proportion of immigrants leave the host country eventually, and many do so within 24 months,’ the researchers state in the ESRC Centre for Population Change briefing paper Does unemployment cause return migration?.
The study, by Govert E. Bijwaard, Christian Schluter and Jackline Wahba, is part of the NORFACE (New Opportunities for Research Funding Co-operation Agency in Europe) Research Programme on Migration, and covered all labour immigrants to the Netherlands 1999–2007 – in total over 94,000 people.
The researchers divided the migrants into four categories: