Immigrants have always played a vital role in Canada, by shaping our communities, culture and contributing to our economic success. According to 2011 Canadian census, 19.8% of Canadians where born outside of Canada (2013, 03), immigration has shown to be the key factor for Canada’s net population growth in recent years, there are about 200 different ethnic groups existing in our country right now (2013, 03). Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver are the hot spots for new comers now days, immigrants choose to live in suburban areas compared to urban areas. With Canada’s aging population and declining birth rate, Canada is relying on immigrants to help enhance and grow the labor market.
In 2010, Canada accepted an estimated 280, 681 immigrants both permanent and temporary (2009, 02). Figure 1.0 shows immigrants to Canada around 2000- 2002 where 61% were Economic immigrants. This group includes skilled workers and their dependents; they are selected on the basis of skill and experience that is appropriate for the Canadian labour market (2009, 02). 27% are family class, 12% were refugees, and while the rest were other.
Recent immigrants are earning less compared to Canadian born workers. Canadian labour market remain to have significant challenge when it comes to utilizing immigrants skills, once in Canada, immigrants face assessments and certain requirements restrict professional and trade workers from putting their skills to work. Many immigrants that come to Canada with foreign degrees or foreign trade skills are faced with costs of repeating their studies or taking further training, which result in productivity loss to Canada. By gender male immigrants face the higher wage gaps compared to female immigrants, men tend to be the breadwinner in many recent immigrant families. Many Doctors, Engineers and Scientist from foreign countries are seen working in the service industry such as taxi drivers and fast food chains, because they are not being able to find a job in professions that suites their skills or education level.
Past few years, labour market outcomes for new immigrants to Canada have deteriorated greatly compared to those of the Canadian born. Figure 2.0 show that by 2006 incoming immigrants had higher unemployment rates than those of the Canadian born (Desjardins & Cornelson 2011).
Figure 2.1 displays that more recent immigrants are likely to take longer to close the earning gap than early immigrant generations, which is because of the steady decline. The main reason for these low and shocking numbers is that immigrants are experience difficulties finding a job that provides justices to their skill and education. Recent immigrants living in Canada for 1- 5 years face significantly higher unemployment rates roughly 12.4% compared to the Canadian born population roughly 7.4% (Desjardins & Cornelson 2011).
In 2006 immigrants who were working full time earned around $45,000 on yearly, 2% less when compared to the Canadian born worker (2009, 02). Now comparing this to the immigrants that arrived around 2010 they earned just $28,700 on average (2009, 02).
Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver are the provinces that face the greatest wage gaps and highest unemployment rates, because these are known as the “hot spots” for new arriving immigrants. “In Toronto, for example, immigrants who had been in Canada 10 years or less, 25 to 54 years of age and employed full-time earned, on average, $0.63 of what Canadian-born individuals did in the same age bracket in 2000. This is down from $0.75 per dollar in 1980 and $0.71 per dollar in 1990” (2009, 02).
Difference in Skills between Immigrants and Canadian-born
New immigrants to Canada are among the most educated to date compared to the general population; most immigrants come in with more than a high school diploma. Canadian born holding a university degree rose from 16% for men and 13% for women in 1991 to 19% for men to 23% for women in 2006