Research details

Accession to recession: A8 migration in Bristol and Hull

Author[s] Glossop, Catherine and Shaheen, Faiza

Date 2009



The study looks at the differential labour market effects from Accession 8 [A8] migration on two contrasting United Kingdom city economies – Bristol and Hull. The aim of the study is to fill the gap in understanding of the local labour market impacts by contrasting the impact from A8 migration on a [pre-recession] high performing city, Bristol, with the impact on a city where demand for labour is comparatively low, Hull.


The study was carried out between October 2008 and January 2009. The Universities of Bristol and Hull were commissioned to conduct a quantitative data analysis – drawing on the Labour Force Survey, National Insurance Number Registrations [NINo], Worker Registration Scheme [WRS], Annual Population Survey [APS], Jobcentre Plus [JCP] and Census data. This was complemented by conducting 60 qualitative interviews in Bristol and Hull – 20 interviews with public sector stakeholders, 20 interviews with migrant workers and associations, and 20 interviews with employers, trade unions, and employment and skills agencies.

Key issues

The report outlines several key issues in relation to Bristol and Hull:


  • Bristol: The evidence suggests it is time to stop thinking of A8 arrivals as ‘migrants’ as they are settling. There is a need to keep them, as well as the local population, in work and make full use of the skills pool available.
  • Hull: The evidence suggests there is little interaction between A8 workers and the rest of the population. The local authorities should therefore focus on improving this relationship and ‘making work pay’ for local benefits claimants.


The report highlights a number of policy recommendations. Both cities – Bristol and Hull, need to do more to understand and integrate A8 workers into their local economy. Councils should use the new economic assessments to measure immigrants’ role in, and contribution to, city-regional/sub-regional labour markets. The report recommended that the findings should be used to inform training needs, particularly in relation to local young people and ‘soft’ skills.

Further details

Resource type
Published by
Centre for Cities in March 2009

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