Canadian Immigrants

It is impossible to overstate the economic contributions made by immigrants from Canada.

They play a crucial role in mitigating the effects of Canada’s declining natural labor force. Comparing the people born in this country. Canadian immigrants were disproportionately hurt by the pandemic.

Pandemic Lockdowns Result In Job Losses

Statistics Canada found that because of pandemic lockdowns. Recent immigrants were more likely than Canadian-born workers to “transition out of employment” at the start of the pandemic.

This is because Canadian immigrants held more temporary and low-paying jobs. Particularly in the food and lodging services sector.

According to a study from 2020 that was cited in Statistics Canada’s most recent report. 31% of employed recent immigrants had less than a year of experience in their jobs as of February 2020. Furthermore, 22% of recent immigrants held low-wage jobs. With hourly pay that was less than two-thirds the 2019 annual median wage ($24.04/hour), which was in low-wage occupations. However, among workers who were born in Canada, those figures were reported to be 15% and 12%, respectively. When “the rate of transition to non-employment” peaked in April 2020 at 13.5% for Canadian-born workers and 17.3% for recent immigrants, the impact of this employment structure became clear.

The Canadian Emergency Response Benefit

Recent immigrants were also more likely to apply for the Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) in 2020 due to increased job losses brought on by the pandemic, indicating further difficulties with economic integration during COVID-19.

Low-wage workers had an effect on economic lockdowns. Which disproportionately represented immigrants from Canada who were more likely to request and receive CERB payment.

More than half of all employees 55.3% who “earn at least $5,000 in 2019 were in the bottom 10% of the 2019 employment income distribution” received CERB in 2020. Similarly, nearly two-thirds of all workers (66.6%) in the hospitality and food services sector who made at least $5,000 in 2019 received CERB the following year.

Median Entry-level Pay For New Canadians Declines

The median entry wage of immigrants who came to Canada in 2019 was $30,000 for the 2020 tax year. Which was 6.5% less than the median entry wage reported for immigrants who arrived in Canada in 2018 ($32,100) for the previous tax year. Between 2019 and 2020, the median wage of Canadians increased by 0.8%, which was a much more favorable result for the country’s entire population.

Economic Principal Applicants Fared Better Than Other Immigrants.

Certain groups of immigrants fared better than others despite the fact that they were generally more affected by the pandemic’s economic disruption.

Take applicants with a background in economics as an example. Canada took the immigrants “for their skills, professional experience, and ability to contribute to the economy.” The median entry wage for this group decreased by just 3% between 2019 and 2020, according to Statistics Canada, the smallest decrease of any category of immigrant application.

The median salary of economic principal applicants increased from $52,8000 to $54,800 (+3.8%) between 2019 and 2020. Sadly, median wages for immigrants in other admission categories decreased.

  • Refugees: Down 7.9%
  • Spouses and dependents of economic immigrants: Down 4.3%
  • Family-sponsored immigrants: Down 3%

The Pandemic Had A Lesser Impact On Immigrants Who Spoke The Official Language And Had Prior Work Experience.

Between 2019 and 2020, the median entry-level salary for immigrants who speak both of Canada’s official languages—French and English—increased by 0.3%. The median entry wage fell by $2,900 YoY (18.6%) for those who do not speak any of Canada’s official languages. One official language proficiency among immigrants fell by 6.5%.

Those without any prior work experience “saw a decline in their median entry wage relative to the previous admission cohort. Canadian immigrants with such experience “felt a similar benefit.”

Between 2019 and 2020, the median entry-level salary for immigrants who are bilingually increased by 0.3%. In contrast, individuals who are illiterate in the official languages of Canada saw a $2,900 YOY (18.6%) decrease in their entry-level salary. There has been a 6.5% decrease in immigrants who speak one official language.

Immigrants’ Employment And Overall Income Are Rising As The Economy Is Beginning To Recover

The income and employment realities of recent Canadian immigrants are improving. As the economy of Canada begins to recover from the pandemic.

Immigrants’ median annual income rose 9.3% between 2019 and 2020. In other words, despite a decline in the median entry wage during that time, the combination of their salaries and emergency aid programs like CERB from the government resulted in a $2,800 increase in the median total income between 2019 and 2020. This year-over-year growth outpaced the 6.9% increase in the median annual income that all Canadians experienced during that time.

According to Statistics Canada, “employment had recovered to the pre-pandemic level by the end of 2021.” Between 2020 and 2021, the employment rate for people born in Canada increased by 2.2%. whereas the employment rate for immigrants with 10 years or less of residency increased by 4.8%. Evidently, as Canada’s economy has recovered from COVID-19, recent immigrants’ employment rates have rebounded more.

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