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

The expansion and changing characteristics of the Provincial Nominee Program

Key Takeaway
The Provincial Nominee Program has reshaped economic immigration in Canada by targeting regional labour needs and prioritizing nominees with Canadian experience.


The Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), established across Canadian provinces (excluding Quebec) and territories from 1998 to 2005, has transformed economic immigration in Canada.  

The program’s goal is to redistribute immigrants beyond major cities to address regional labour needs. As of 2023, the program accounted for 40% of all economic immigrants. By contrast, the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), which was the source of 79% of Canada’s economic immigrants in 2000, represented only 13% of that population in 2023.  

The PNP plays a significant role in Canada’s economic immigration landscape by adapting to varied labour needs across provinces and focusing on nominees who have Canadian work or study experience to address economic integration challenges.  

This Statistics Canada research highlights the significant shifts in the program’s demographics. In 2000, 6% of nominees had previously worked as temporary foreign workers. By 2019, that percentage had increased to 61%.  

The program has also influenced the occupational landscape, with more nominees entering technical roles rather than professional ones.  

Although provincial nominees once outearned FSWP immigrants, recent cohorts have seen a reversal, with provincial nominees earning less in their initial years after arrival. This reflects the PNP’s shifting role in meeting the diverse labour and demographic needs of Canada’s provinces and territories. 

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Key Takeaway: The Provincial Nominee Program has reshaped economic immigration in Canada by targeting regional labour needs and prioritizing nominees with Canadian experience.
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