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Canadian immigrants: More education, less employment


 

From the Canadian Council on Learning:

As a consequence of Canada’s immigration policy, immigrants to Canada have higher educational attainment than native-born Canadians. Very recent immigrants are more than twice as likely to possess a university degree and are four times more likely to have a graduate degree than native-born Canadians.

Labour-force outcomes change over time as immigrants become more established and acquire Canadian experience and/or credentials. As a result, it is important to distinguish between recently arrived and more established immigrants. In the following discussion, very recent immigrants include those who have been in Canada for less than five years. Recent immigrants are those who have been in Canada between five and 10 years. Established immigrants have been in Canada for more than 10 years.

Despite their educational assets, recent and very recent immigrants suffer lower employment and higher unemployment rates than Canadians with similar levels of education. Immigrants also earn less than their Canadian-born counterparts. Data from the 2006 census reveal that, among recent immigrants, men earn 63 cents and women earn 56 cents for every dollar earned by their Canadian-born counterparts. These income disparities are growing over time: in 1980, both male and female recent immigrants earned 85 cents on the dollar, relative to their native-born counterparts.

As a consequence of their labour-market difficulties, immigrants are much more likely to live in poverty than non-immigrants. In 2000, low-income rates were twice as high among recent immigrants as among non-immigrants, and three times as high among very recent immigrants. Low-income trends are growing steadily worse among immigrants, while improving among other vulnerable groups in Canada.


 
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