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

Income dynamics of new immigrants to Canada

Key Takeaway
The income gap between recent immigrants to Canada and the Canadian median has diminished.


This report provides a comprehensive analysis of the income dynamics of new immigrants to Canada. It emphasizes the substantial rise in the median income of immigrants (mainly those from India, the Philippines and China).  

The authors connect the increase to several factors, including: 

  • more pre-landing work experience (immigrants who had previously worked in Canada on temporary permits had higher income levels when they gained permanent residency) 
  • a higher volume of South Asian immigrants (among whom the income increase was the highest, which increased the overall average)  
  • stronger family ties within Canada  
  • an influx of skilled or educated immigrants landing jobs in professional sectors, like engineering and applied sciences  

The study also examined the impact of Canadian immigration policies, including the Express Entry system, which prioritizes skilled workers. Such policies likely added to the elevated flow of professionally skilled immigrants, whose higher income levels then contributed to the broader improvements in Canada.  

The report concludes by emphasizing that narrowing the income gap between new immigrants and the Canadian median could positively influence Canada’s productivity.

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.
January, 2024 | Desormeaux, M., & Jean-Jacobs, F.
Key Takeaway: Labour shortages in the construction industry present an ongoing challenge that could be solved by immigration.
January, 2024 | The Daily
Key Takeaway: Immigrants who had Canadian work experience prior to admission saw increased wages post-COVID.
January, 2024 | Hou, F., & Picot, G.
Key Takeaway: Immigrants who enter Canada as temporary foreign workers or international students consistently out-earn those directly selected from abroad.
February, 2024 | Bérard-Chagnon, J., Hallman, S., Dionne, M-A., Tang, J., & St-Jean, B.
Key Takeaway: Canada needs policies to improve its retention of immigrants.
January, 2024 | Bagnoli, P., Matier, C., & Yan, X.
Key Takeaway: The income gap between recent immigrants to Canada and the Canadian median has diminished.
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