Atlantic Research Group on Economics of Immigration, Aging and Diversity

Immigrants in Canadian Labour Markets (2006-2016, 2015-2024)

(Presentation for Conference Board of Canada Immigration Summit 2017)

2017 ARGEIAD Presentation at Immigration Summit

The presentation analyzed the role of immigrants in Canadian labour markets by considering their contribution at various skill levels over the 2006-2016 period based on annual Labour Force Surveys conducted by Statistics Canada, and over the 2015-2024 based on projections provided by Employment and Social Development Canada  using their Canadian Occupation Projection System (COPS) model. Projections for Atlantic Canada for the 2016-18 period provided by Service Canada were also analyzed.

Overall, number of job seekers will be short of job openings by 129,300 (about 2 percent). Widest gap will be in Skill levels Management and Professionals jobs where job seekers will be short of job openings by 6 percent (combined) over the period. Only Labouring occupation will see an excess supply of workers (about 5% excess).

About 76 percent of jobs openings in Canada will be due to attrition (death or retirements) which is reflective of an aging population. The highest percentage of attrition will be in management occupations (90%), followed by occupation level C (81.5%).

Among job seekers, more than one in five will be immigrants. In all, about 35% of all job seekers will be seeking employment in Skill levels C and D while 45% of immigrant job seekers will be looking for jobs in these occupations.

Without immigration, the number of job seekers will fall short of job openings by 23%. There will be shortages in jobs at all skill levels. Labouring will have a shortage of job seekers by 31%, followed by Intermediate (27%), Professionals (25%), Management (20%) and Tech/Paraprof (18%).

Labour market outlook for Atlantic Canada shows a 1.7 percent growth in job opportunities over2016-18 period. All of these will be due to attrition (death and retirement). In fact, job market will shrink over this period. This is largely due to declining economy in NL in oil sector and winding down of some major construction projects such as Muskrat Falls Hydroelectric Project and Hebron Oil Project (expected to be completed within the period). Due to declining natural growth in its population, the region’s reliance on immigrant labour will continue to rise.