Canadian Versus Immigrant Unemployment Rates

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Do immigrant workers face a higher risk of unemployment?

A common perception of Canada is that it holds bountiful opportunities. We talked about this perception and some of the top reasons for immigrating to Canada last week. Now, we want to consider if that perception is entirely accurate. In this article, we ask whether immigrants are receiving the same level of opportunity as Canadian-born citizens? What are the unemployment rates of immigrants in Canada? How do they compare to Canadian citizens?

This article uses unemployment rates to indicate the opportunities available for immigrant workers compared to Canadian-born citizens. Unemployment rates are used as indicators for the level of 'opportunities available' because job status directly impacts quality of life. For example, unemployment affects the disposable income of families, decreases purchasing power, reduces individual morale, and reduces options for fun recreational spending.  

The lower the unemployment rate, the more opportunity one has to thrive in Canada. This article compares the Government of Canada's statistics regarding immigrant unemployment rates to Canada's national unemployment rates to identify how 'equal' the opportunities available are to immigrant workers.  

The first graph shows immigrant unemployment rates across numerous years based on the amount of time an immigrant has spent in Canada. The second graph outlines Canada’s unemployment rates over multiple years broken down by province.

As seen in the charts above, immigrant unemployment rates are actually below the national average unemployment rates. There are various reasons for this:

  • Immigrants occupy essential jobs
  • Immigrant application streams are created to fill labour gaps
  • Immigrants tend to be more flexible in accepting jobs outside of their education/experience. 

Immigrants have helped Canada in numerous ways. Most Canadian immigrants bring valuable skills, education or investments, which contributes to the Canadian economy. In fact, the Canadian government actively seeks to admit immigrants who have skills in fields such as medicine, engineering, or skilled trades where Canada has shortages of skilled workers.

Canada’s low unemployment rate means that there is plenty of work to go around, and many industries are experiencing labour shortages. When there are more jobs than workers, employers tend to increase wages to draw in talent. If you are looking to come to Canada, having a job offer significantly helps your application. Sign up for our free platform to see all the recent job postings that the team at Immigrate can help you come to Canada with.


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