The Bank of England has suggested that wages are being kept down by foreign workers as they are able to find jobs online before arriving in the UK, at a time when official figures showed that more EU migrants found work in the UK than Britons last year.
The official figures that were recently released showed that the total number of non-UK nationals from EU countries working in Britain reached a record 1.91 million last year – an increase of 283,000.
During the same time period the number of UK nationals working in the UK increased by 279,000 to reach 27.91 million.
The Bank of England said that net inward migration from European countries is having an “impact on wage pressures”, with foreigners’ ability to search for jobs before they come to the UK “could make wages less responsive to domestic labour market pressures”.
The prime minister has pledged to stop thousands of jobs being advertised online across the EU.
Poland, the Czech Republic and Baltic states has seen the biggest increase in migrant workers, with a 15.7 per cent increase in workers from the first three months of 2014 compared to the same period this year.
Carlos Vargas-Silva, from the Migration Observatory, said the figures would continue to increase as long as Britain’s economy outstrips the rest of the EU.
He said: “We have seen increasing migration from European countries. This has gone up for several quarters.
“As long as the economy of the UK is better relative to the EU we would expect migration from the EU to continue in the future.”
The Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, warned that the “subdued” rate of wage growth could continue.
He said: “In recent years labour supply has expanded significantly owing to higher participation rates among older workers, a greater willingness to work longer hours and strong population growth, partly driven by higher net migration.
“These positive labour supply shocks have contained wage growth in the face of robust employment growth. Wages have grown by around 2 per cent in the past year – less than half the average rate before the global financial crisis – and a key risk is that these subdued growth rates continue.”
Mr Cameron highlighted an online scheme called EURES during a speech last July, which at the time was advertising more than 500,000 jobs across the EU, which recently had 180,000 vacanacies in the UK advertised even though the Prime Minister said the Government would stop the scheme in his speech.