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Future of Work

A curated resource of recent research on trends shaping Canada's labor market.

Entering the labour market during recession can leave lasting scars

Key Takeaway
During economic downturns, work-integrated learning can increase new graduates’ skills and reduce labour market scarring.


This TD Bank report suggests that work-integrated learning (WIL) can ease the labour market scarring felt by graduates who must find their first career job during a recession.

During periods of higher unemployment, the job market is more competitive, reducing options for graduates. As a result, those who enter the labour market during recessions earn less at first and have a lower earnings trajectory, even 5 years after graduation. The report refers to this longer-term impact as scarring.

The study reveals that WIL—which —helps graduates improve their skills, makes them more competitive in the job market, and has a positive impact on their earnings. During an economic recession, it can help graduates reduce scarring by improving their initial outcomes.

WIL can also improve the competitive edge of groups who typically face equity-related obstacles in the labour force, such as women and racialized groups.

January, 2024 | Ray, B., & Preston, V.
Key Takeaway: Challenges in Canada's housing market are hindering the integration and economic stability of immigrants and temporary migrants.
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Key Takeaway: Labour shortages in the construction industry present an ongoing challenge that could be solved by immigration.
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Key Takeaway: Immigrants who had Canadian work experience prior to admission saw increased wages post-COVID.
January, 2024 | Hou, F., & Picot, G.
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Key Takeaway: Canada needs policies to improve its retention of immigrants.
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