January 12, 2012 • 1:34 pm

The Mail this morning ran a story about the earnings of migrant workers compared to those of British-born workers. Their claim:

The statistics themselves were supposedly gathered by the Office for National Statistics in a large-scale labour-force survey. However this survey was not published, according to the paper.

Instead, the claims are said to come from an analysis by Eurostat – the EU’s statistics arm.

Full Fact is looking into both possible sources and will update when we obtain relevant information. There is, however, a slight source of confusion within the Mail’s report itself.

Readers of the headline would likely assume that the facts being quoted said that the average migrant worker in the UK had a higher annual salary than the average British-born worker, and that this distinction was greater amongst childless workers (going by the term ‘especially’).

However, the third paragraph of the piece states:

“Among families with children, migrant incomes still lag behind those of the British-born – although only slightly”

And later:

“For a couple with children, income for each British-born adult in a home would be 19,530ppp, against 18,296 for those born abroad.”

Clearly, the picture being painted is that the average migrant worker only earns more than the average British-born worker if they are childless – not “especially” if they are childless.

While we can’t yet comment on the accuracy of the figures themselves, we are concerned that the Mail’s choice of headline seems to significantly misrepresent the report itself.

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