Newcomers perform better than natives in Canadian labour market

Newcomers are performing well in the Canadian labour market and in some cases, they even outperform their Canadian-born counterparts, reveals a recently released report.

In the report, which is titled ‘The Improved Labour Market Performance of New Immigrants to Canada, 2006-2019′, economist Kimberly Wong has drawn some significant conclusions by comparing the participation rate, employment rate, unemployment rate and hourly wages of three groups– recent immigrants who had been in Canada for less than five years, immigrants who had been living in the country for five to ten years, and Canadian-born citizens. The study sourced data from the Statistics Canada Labour Force Study between 2006 and 2019, published by the Centre for the Study of Living Standards.

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In 2019, the participation rates of the very recent newcomers were 4.5 percentage points higher than that of the Canadian borns. At the same time, the participation rates were 10.0 higher among recent immigrants compared to Canadian borns.

In the case of employment rates, recent immigrants fared better compared to Canadian-born workers at the rate of 1.5 percentage points. At the same time, recent immigrants surpassed them by 8.7 percentage points.

The study also shows that the wages adjusted for the cost of living have also grown for very recent immigrants.

The study cites six reasons for the improved performance of new immigrants in the Canadian labour market, which are:

  • More immigrants had university degrees
  • A strong labour market of the late 2010s opened up more opportunities for the new immigrants
  • Federal and provincial immigration programs for foreign workers that helped in boosting the labour performance
  • Support services that might have helped new immigrants integrate into the labour market
  • Improvement in foreign credential recognition
  • Improved labour market information that might have helped new immigrants prepare well.
The report further says: “Given their lower average age and higher education relative to the Canadian working-age population, new immigrants represent an important strength for the Canadian economy, from the perspective of their contribution to the labour force and to tax revenues.”

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