Unemployment rate among Canadian immigrants at historic low

April 14, 2022

By CIC News |

The unemployment rate for immigrants who landed in Canada within the past five years was at a record low according to Statistics Canada’s March Labour Force Survey.

The newly-released report captured Canada’s labour market conditions during the week of March 13 to 19. During the reference week, provinces were easing public health restrictions. All capacity limits and proof-of-vaccination requirements were lifted in Ontario, Manitoba, Alberta and Quebec.

Overall, Canada’s unemployment fell 0.2 percentage points to 5.3%, the lowest rate on record since comparable data became available in 1976. Statistics Canada calculates the unemployment rate by the number of unemployed people as a percentage of the labour force.

The adjusted unemployment rate—which includes people who wanted a job, but did not look for one—was below its pre-pandemic level for the first time at 7.2%.

The unemployment rate for core-aged immigrants who landed within the past five years was 8.3%, the lowest since comparable data became available in 2006. Canadian-born workers had an unemployment rate of 4.5%. The gap of 3.8 percentage points is the same that was observed before the pandemic in March 2019.

“With the unemployment rate so low, virtually all industries are bumping up against labour shortages, including those hospitality sectors that have yet to fully recover,” writes Nathan Janzen Assistant Chief Economist at RBC Economics.

Employment growth outpacing population growth
Canada’s total employment rose by 73,000 in March, driven by gains in full-time work.

Employment gains since September 2021 have outpaced the population growth. Since September when Canada’s employment first recovered from the pandemic, employment has grown 2.4%, compared to the population aged 15 and older, which has grown at a rate of 0.8%.

The slow rate of population growth coupled with high job vacancies and fast employment growth will likely be cited to make cases for facilitating the entry of foreign workers. One way to counteract downward pressure on the labour market is to open the door to international talent.

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