Ah, the Daily Express. It's been ages since I bothered to venture into the pages of the low quality Mail knockoff for any length of time. The paper has slid so far down that it just isn't worth spending as much time on any more. Every time I access the website, I get the comedy plinky plonky music from the Dawn of the Dead in my head. The Daily Express is in every sense like a mindless zombie stumbling down an escalator.
The Express loves stats involving the number of foreign workers added to the labour force, and shambles slowly after them, head lolling forward, eyes rolling blankly, catching a set of stats whenever they're released and messily gobbling them up. The crowning glory of Express coverage of these kind of stats was in 'MIGRANTS TAKE ALL NEW JOBS IN BRITAIN', which spectacularly concluded that migrant workers took more new jobs than actually existed between 2003 and 2007. Unsurprisingly, you won't find it on the website any more. Because it was bollocks. That claim was scaled down by March this year to 'MIGRANTS GET 85% OF NEW JOBS IN BRITAIN'. Same figures, different time frame.
Today, we have 'PROOF THAT MIGRANTS TAKE MOST UK JOBS'. So, the claim has dropped from ALL (which was actually more than ALL, which is impossible), and the article has been relegated away from the front page in the space of a year. We've also dropped the 'new', so migrants take most of the jobs in the country. This story's arbitrarily chosen date for comparison is 2006.
The actual figures are available in this quarter's Quarterly Migrant Worker Estimate. Here's the total number of people in work in Jul-Sep this year, split into UK born and Non-UK born:
Total number of people employed in the UK in Jul-Sep 2008
Born in UK: 25,768,000
Born outside UK: 3,723,000
So, in reality these figures are 'PROOF THAT MIGRANTS TAKE 12.6% UK JOBS'. Only in the Express's crazy moon logic does 12.6% equal most.
Of course, the headline gets withdrawn in the sentence 'MIGRANTS have taken the overwhelming majority of new jobs', but that's cobblers too. The actual figure for the total raise is left until much later in the article, so readers are less likely to spot that this is yet another story that actually concludes that more new jobs have been taken by foreigners than actually exist. Which - in case you've forgotten - is impossible.
The paper makes this claim because it interprets the number added to the workforce as 'new jobs', which is, of course, bollocks. The extra foreign born workers might be filling old jobs vacated by the UK born when they retire or move on to bigger and better things, while the swanky sounding 'new jobs' created since 2006 may have all gone to those born here. We don't know. Either does the Express, so it just pretends.
It will always be possible to pick an arbitrary point in the last few years and show that the number of people born in the UK in work has fallen, because the population is aging. Without that 500,000 people born outside the UK entering the employment market, who would have done those 500,000 jobs?
Let's not bother with questions like that! Let's just bung in a couple of quotes from MigrationWatch instead.
I would look at the figures for how much migrants earn compared to non-migrants, but I'm bored now. All I can be bothered with is: migrants earn less? No shit, Sherlock.
No matter how many of these buggers you shoot in the head, they just keep on coming.