A new study is sparking debate over whether Canada should decrease immigration during times of economic recession.
The study, which was completed by two professors at Queen’s university and released this month by the Canadian Labour Market and Skills Researcher Network, examined the earnings of immigrants across the first ten years after their arrival in Canada.
What the researchers found was that immigrants who were admitted based on their employable skills did vastly better financially than those admitted under different categories, such as sponsorships or refugee claimants.
Women entering the country as skilled immigrants earned between 39 and 56 percent more than the average of immigrant females, while men who arrived based on their skills earned between 30 to 37 percent more than average. Refugees were found to have the most income growth potential.
The study also found that during times of economic slowdown immigrant income levels are low, with little potential for growth. This trend was displayed across all immigration categories.
“Recession appears to have had very marked and long-lasting scarring effects on the real earnings of immigrants,” said the authors of the study. “Perhaps thought should be given to ways to reduce total immigrant admission levels when severe recessions hit.”
Experts are saying that placing more emphasis on skills, as well as favouring immigrants who have a Canadian job offer in place at the time of application, would help to ensure their continued economic success.
Critics, however, argue that success need not always be defined in terms of economics or income, and that Canadian values reflect more diverse goals.
“You can’t measure the success of the family reunification program by assessing their rates of earnings,” said Janet Dench, executive director of the Canadian Council for Refugees. “We don’t protect refugees because we think it will be good for the economy – we do it to protect them from persecution.”
Source: Calgary Herald