The Impact of the Recent Expansion of the EU on the UK Labor Market

  • David G. Blanchflower
  • Helen Lawton


We examine the impact of the influx of workers from Eastern Europe on the UK and look at the characteristics of the workers who have come to the UK since 2004. We also use data from a number of Eurobarometers (2004-2007) as well as the 2005 Work Orientation module International Social Survey Programme to look at the attitudes of residents of these countries. Eastern Europeans report that they are unhappy with their lives and the country they live in, they are dissatisfied with their jobs, and they would experience difficulties finding a good new job or keeping their existing job. Relatively high proportions express a desire to move abroad. Eastern Europeans’ expectations for the future of their domestic economies and their personal situations remain low, but have improved since 2004. There has been some deterioration in the availability of jobs in the UK as the economy moves into recession. However, the UK is an attractive place for Eastern Europeans to live and work. We argue that rather than dissipate, flows of Eastern European workers to the UK could remain strong well into the future.


Life Satisfaction Euro Area EU10 Country Return Migration Foreign Worker 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • David G. Blanchflower
    • 1
  • Helen Lawton
    • 2
  1. 1.Dartmouth CollegeNew HampshireEngland
  2. 2.University of CambridgeCambridgeEngland

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