The Canadian Immigrant Labour Market 2008-2011

About the study

This study examined labour market performance of immigrants to Canada, by region and socio-demographic characteristic. Using Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey (2008-2011), the unemployment and employment rates of immigrants were compared to that of their Canadian-born counterparts.


What can be learned from this study?

• Immigrants who had been living in Canada for five years or less recorded the highest unemployment rate from 2008 to 2011 compared to those who had been in Canada for more than ten years and the Canadian-born.

• British Columbia had 17.6 percent of recent immigrants (< 5 years) and 66.5 percent of established immigrants ( > 10 years) to Canada.

• Compared to other provinces, BC’s unemployment rate for immigrants was relatively low (7.4 percent). Alberta recorded the lowest unemployment rate for immigrants at 4.9 percent.

• Immigrant employment increased in sectors such as health care and social assistance, professional, scientific and technical services, public administration, and business. However, there was a decrease in immigrant employment in manufacturing sector.

• University-educated immigrants who had been in Canada for less than five years saw a drop in employment rate from 2008 to 2011. Also, the wage gap between recent immigrants and the Canadian-born increased during the same period.

• Employment rate fell and unemployment rate rose for immigrant youth in 2009; however, the gap in unemployment rates between immigrant youth and their Canadian-born counterparts narrowed by 2011. Overall, there was a little change in immigrant youth employment.

• With many immigrant women from the Philippines coming to Canada through the Live-in Caregiver program, Filipino immigrants had higher employment rate than the Canadian-born. Immigrants from Africa recorded the lowest employment rate and highest unemployment rate among immigrants to Canada.


What method(s) did the study use?

Analysis of Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey (LFS) (2008-2011)