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Future of Work

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

The continued impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic: Variations in the economic integration of new immigrants

Key Takeaway
Immigrants who had Canadian work experience prior to admission saw increased wages post-COVID.


The report discusses the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on economic outcomes for new immigrants to Canada, comparing results for those who arrived in 2019 versus those who arrived in 2020.  

Immigrants admitted in 2019 experienced a drop in their median entry wage, a reversal from the consistent increases of previous years.  

In comparison, immigrants admitted in 2020—many of whom had pre-admission experience in Canada—saw an increase in their median entry wages compared to pre-pandemic levels.  The author explains that work experience was crucial to this difference.  

Among new immigrants, level of economic integration and outcomes vary by sex, admission category and pre-admission work experience. The report finds that those who held work or study permits before admission achieved the highest median entry wages. This highlights the valuable role that Canadian work and study experiences can play in economic integration for immigrants.  

The report also reveals that gender disparities persist, with men still generally earning more than women. However, women admitted in 2020 experienced a greater percentage increase in their median entry wage.  

According to the report, despite initial setbacks, the economic integration of new immigrants began to recover in 2021, with pre-admission experience continuing to play a key role in their ability to attain higher wages.  

The report concludes by suggesting that facilitating work and study opportunities in Canada for potential immigrants could enhance their economic success upon admission.

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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