Canadian immigrant labour market outcomes were improving before COVID

A recent Statistics Canada report examines how immigrant employment rates and wages compared to Canadian-born workers over the past two decades.

Before the pandemic, labour market performance gaps between Canadians and immigrants were either closing or remaining steady.

In a recent report, Statistics Canada compared immigrant and Canadian employment and wages between 2000 and 2019. They found the outcomes differed depending on which outcome they were measuring, gender, and years in Canada. The study looked at employment rate, that is instances of employment, as well as weekly wages of men and women ages 25 to 54.

Immigrant men who had been in Canada for less than 10 years were getting jobs at a faster rate than Canadian-born men during the study period. The relative employment rate of immigrant women who had been in Canada for less than five years also improved slightly.

The earnings gap between immigrant and Canadian-born workers with similar socioeconomic characteristics widened between 2000 and 2015. There was some improvement in the earnings gap for both men and women in the subsequent study years. The improvements could be due to the rising demand for labour in the late 2010s.

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