January 16, 2019 – Under the current immigration system, skilled immigrants are coming to Canada, finding jobs and thriving, new data shows.
The employment rate of newly-arrived immigrants to Canada exceeded native-born Canadians in 2018.
In a federal election year in which immigration is shaping up to be a central issue, this statistic is significant.
It proves wrong those suggesting Canada cannot cope because too many immigrants are being allowed in.
It shows that arguments suggesting unemployed immigrants are putting strain on the Canadian system are incorrect.
It also shows the Express Entry system is working, bringing in qualified, experienced skilled immigrants who, if they do not have a job offer in hand, find one quickly upon arrival.
The Statistics Canada data shows 63.9 per cent of people aged 15 and over arriving in Canada in the last five years were employed in 2018, compared to just 62.3 per cent of native Canadians.
Source: Statistics Canada
The influence of Express Entry has been a slow burner, possibly due to the fact that, even after it launched, a backlog of applications under the previous system had to be cleared.
But for pushing two years now, the vast majority of federal high skilled immigrants coming to Canada have arrived through Express Entry.
The system prioritizes those with jobs offers, provincial nominations, and the type of qualifications, experience and language skills likely to mean they succeed here.
While Express Entry was developed and launched by the previous Conservative government, changes made under the Liberals have served to improve the system.
The changes include introducing points for Canadian education, sending a clear message to international students that they can stay in Canada after graduation.
International students now have a clear pathway, from education, to the Post-Graduation Work Permit, to permanent residence through Express Entry and then citizenship.
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While Canada has set about making itself more welcoming in the last few years, the opposite has been happening in the US.
As a result of Donald Trump’s crackdown, some of the brightest foreign talent has switched its attention to Canada and its streamlined immigration system.
Under the Liberals, Canada has stepped up immigration as a tool to help counter a shrinking labour market and aging population.
With plans to welcome more than one million new immigrants in the next three years, closing employment gap is of crucial importance to policy makers.
Quebec’s recent provincial election saw the Coalition Avenir Quebec elected on a platform that has seen them cut immigration from 50,000 to 40,000 per year in the French-speaking province.
They argued that more needs to be done to develop the province’s ability to integrate new immigrants.
But businesses in Quebec are desperate for new people, with vacancies left unfilled because Canadian candidates do not exist to fill them.
The latest national data would suggest Canada is winning the integration battle.
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