Latin Americans face a stubborn pay gap in Canada, data shows

August 7, 2021

The relationship between immigrants’ and refugees’ education, experience and economic integration matters. It can tell us whether Latinos are unemployed or underemployed or contributing to the Canadian economy, experts say.

Latinos constitute a mosaic of nationalities and cultures, and there are one million of them living in Canada.

Just over 92,000 Latinos were admitted as permanent residents to Canada between January 2007 and April 2021 — with Brazilians, Mexicans, Colombians and Venezuelans topping the list.

Because of limited research on this ethnic group, we know little about Latin Americans’ experiences with economic integration in Canada. Economic integration, in this context, refers to the extent and degree that immigrants and refugees integrate into the workforce, stimulating the local economy.

Through our most recent exploratory research and drawing from 2016 census data, we analyzed how well Latinos are doing in terms of economic integration.

We found that while they are present across all Canadian labour markets, they are lagging behind the Canadian median total income ($68,100). This is because their field of employment, location and income are strongly shaped by their nationality, time spent (or having been born) in Canada and their gender.