Atlantic Research Group on Economics of Immigration, Aging and Diversity

Labour force of Atlantic Canada by place of birth: some selected characteristics

By Ather H. Akbari, Department of Economics, Saint Mary’s University

Each issue of this newsletter also includes a feature article based on recent statistics on immigration in Atlantic Canada. Current issue focuses on selected labour market characteristics of foreign-born (immigrants) and Canadian-born (non-immigrants) in the labor force of the region. The data used in this publication are based on annualized custom tabulations derived from Labour Force Surveys conducted during 2006-2013. These tabulations were purchased from Statistics Canada.

During 2006-13, the overall growth in labor force of Atlantic Canada was about 4 percent (from 1.19 million to 1.24 million people). Canadian born members of labour force rose by 2.4 percent while foreign born members rose by about 39 percent.

Diversity of labour force by place of birth

In 2013, foreign-born labour comprised about 5.5 percent of the total labour force in Atlantic Canada, which was a 1.4 percent increase over 2006. The share of Asians in the labour force has doubled during this period reflecting the fastest growth, of about 94 percent, over the 8 year-period (Table 1).

Table 1: Labour force composition and growth by place of birth, Atlantic Canada 2006-13. 

Place of birth

Share in labour force (%)

Labour force growth (%)

2006

2013

2006-13

Canada

95.90

94.50

2.40

Other North America

0.90

1.00

16.04

Europe

1.80

1.90

10.33

Asia

0.90

1.80

93.81

Other

0.50

0.80

75.86

Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Surveys, 2006 and 2013, customized tabulations.

 

Age distribution of labour force

Among Canadian born members of the labour force, the percentage of elderly (those aged 65 and above) rose by more than two times during 2006-2013 while that of youth (those aged 15-24) and of those in their prime working age (25-54) fell. Similar pattern is observed among European-born. Those born in Asia have the highest percentage of youth and of those in their prime working age.

Table 2: Age distribution of labour force in Atlantic Canada by place of birth, 2006 and 2013.

Age group

Canada

Other North America

Europe

Asia

2006

2013

2006

2013

2006

2013

2006

2013

15-24

16.41

14.78

6.60

8.13

7.98

5.53

11.50

13.70

25-54

69.82

64.21

72.64

59.35

61.97

57.45

74.34

73.52

55-64

12.49

17.57

16.04

23.58

26.29

25.53

10.62

10.05

65 +

1.28

3.45

NA

9.76

3.76

11.49

NA

2.74

Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Surveys, 2006 and 2013, customized tabulations. NA = Data not available. Due to insufficient data, numbers are not reported for “others.”

 

Educational attainment of labour force

The educational level attainment of labour force members increased between 2006 and 2013 as the percentage of those with university degree rose while it fell for those not holding a university degree. The only exception is for those born in other countries of North America. Rise of university degree holders was the highest among those born in Asia.

Table 3: Educational attainment of labour force in Atlantic Canada by place of birth, 2006 and 2013 (%)

Place of birth

Educational level

Year

 

 

2006

2013

Canada

High school or less

24.64

22.96

 

Post-secondary, non-university

54.93

53.23

 

University degree

20.43

23.82

Other North America

High school or less

19.75

18.28

 

Post-secondary, non-university

51.85

54.84

 

University degree

28.39

26.88

Europe

High school or less

13.06

13.96

 

Post-secondary, non-university

47.74

43.69

 

University degree

39.20

42.34

Asia

High school or less

13.33

11.54

 

Post-secondary, non-university

30.48

25.48

 

University degree

56.19

62.98

Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Surveys, 2006 and 2013, customized tabulations. Due to insufficient data, numbers are not reported for “others.”

 

Unemployment rates

Unemployment rate among Atlantic Canadians rose between 2006 and 2013. The largest increase was experienced by those born in Asia whose unemployment rate in 2006 was below that of Canadian born but exceeded them in 2013.

Table 4: Unemployment rate in Atlantic Canada by place of birth of labour force, 2006 and 2013.

Place of birth

Year

2006

2013

Canada

9.97

10.19

Other North America

4.72

8.13

Europe

5.63

7.23

Asia

7.10

12.3

Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Surveys, 2006 and 2013, customized tabulations. Due to insufficient data, numbers are not reported for “others.”