Immigration and Work in Canada: A New Perspective

There is good news for immigrants in Canada interested in the job market. According to newly released figures from Canada’s 2016 census, almost 25% of workers in Canada are immigrants and more than 50% have at least a bachelor’s degree.  The number of immigrant workers in Canada has grown by 21.2% since 2006 and in Toronto about half of all workers are immigrants.

The changes and increases may be due to changes to the immigration system, specifically the Express Entry system, which was created in 2015 to address labor shortages. Since the initiative was launched, Canada has invited 145,368 applicants to live and work in Canada through that program.

The increasing number of workers from other countries may be attributed in part to Canada’s search for skilled workers to replace an aging working population and in part to fill jobs which are not filled by Canadian-born workers. Some sectors, such as healthcare, face worker shortages and immigration may be one way to address these problems. With immigrant workers twice as likely as Canadian-born workers to hold a master’s or Ph.D. degree, immigration workforces give employers the opportunity to hire highly skilled and highly qualified workers.

Good Wage News

Workers in Canada also have some good news when it comes to money. Statistics Canada has reported that immigrant workers arriving in 2014 were earning $24,000 in Canada by 2015, the highest wages for new immigrants reported since 1981. Part of the reason for this may be the Canadian Experience Class, which prioritizes workers with needed skills and Canadian work experience, meaning they start in a better economic position.  

Challenges and Opportunities

This is not to say that immigrants still don’t face challenges in the workplace.  Immigrant workers are still earning less than Canadian-born employees. Census Canada shows that workers born in the country earned an average of $36,300 in 2015, while immigrants earned $29,770 that same year, with the biggest wage gaps appearing in Alberta. As they stay in Canada longer, immigrants start to earn more.

In addition, workers may still face confusion when applying for permanent resident status in Canada or may worry about finding work in the country. Some worry about ensuring their credentials are recognized when they come to Canada.

If you are seeking to live and work in Canada and would like some support, Immigration Direct has resources to help you apply for Express Entry, the Federal Skilled Workers Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, and other programs designed to help you start a new life. With Immigration Direct, you get the newest versions of immigration forms as well as clear step-by-step instructions, so you have everything you need to apply with confidence.