Faculty & Research > IMPACT Blog > Blog Entries > Temporary Foreign Workers (TFWs) in Atlantic Canada: A brief profile

Temporary Foreign Workers (TFWs) in Atlantic Canada: A brief profile

Atlantic Research Group on Economics of Immigration, Aging and Diversity
  1. Learn about Canada’s TFW program
  2. Review the most recent changes announced by the federal government to Canada’s TFW program 
  3. For definitions of occupational skill level and type, please see: Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, 2011, National Occupational Classifications 2011, Catalogue no. HS18-29/2011 E-PDF

Between 2003 and 2013, the number of TFWs entering Atlantic Canada rose by about 88 percent. Although the number of female temporary workers remains below that of males, their growth has been faster (more than 3 times over the period) than that of males (whose numbers grew by less than double). Figure 1 plots the number of TFWs arriving each year.


Temporary Foreign Workers Entering Atlantic Canada

 Source: Citizenship and Immigration Canada

 In 2003, there were 2,980 TFWs resident in the region, 39 percent of them being females. In 2013, there were 12,413 TFWs residing in the region and females comprised 38 percent of them. Figure 2 plots their numbers in the two years.


Resident Temporary Foreign Workers in Atlantic Canada by Gender
Source: Citizenship and Immigration Canada

The United States, the United Kingdom and Philippines were the top three source countries of TFWs coming to Atlantic Canada in 2003 and 2013. However, Malaysia and India, which occupied fourth and fifth positions in 2003, were replaced by Peoples Republic of China and Jamaica in 2013 (Table 1).


Top five source countries of temporary foreign workers entering Atlantic Canada

Source: Citizenship and Immigration Canada

There was a greater change over the period in the top five source countries of TFWs who were present in the region. Philippines replaced United States in 2013 as the top source country while Peoples Republic of China and India replaced Australia and Norway (Table 2).


Top five source countries of temporary foreign workers resident in Atlantic Canada, 2003 and 2013
Source: Citizenship and Immigration Canada

In 2003, about 80 percent of TFWs entered Atlantic Canada to work in higher-skilled occupations(occupation levels classified as O, A and B). In 2013, there was a shift in this occupational distribution towards lower-skilled occupations (occupational levels C and D). This change was more prominent for females than for males (Table 3).


Occupational distribution of temporary foreign workers entering Atlantic Canada by gender, 2003 and 2013
Source: Citizenship and Immigration Canada

Among the top five destinations of TFWs, Halifax, Saint John’s and Saint John maintained their rankings as number 1, 2 and 4, respectively, in 2003 and 2013. Moncton moved up from fifth to third position while Charlottetown replaced Fredericton in the list.


Top five destinations of temporary foreign workers in Atlantic Canada, 2003 and 2013

Source: Citizenship and Immigration Canada