Structural Impacts: Twenty Years of Labour Flows to Canada

Heather B. Dryburgh, Statistics Canada

The individual decision to immigrate is made in the context of larger social structures that influence the composition of the economic immigrant population over time. Over the last 20 years, economic immigrants to Canada have faced changing selection policies, cycles of economic recession and growth, increased demand for information technology skills, women's increased labour force participation and an aging labour force. Intended occupation of immigrants on gaining permanent resident status is an indicator of the relationship between labour flows and the structural influences on those flows. This paper examines the flow of economic immigrants to Canada and their occupational composition over the last twenty years. Longitudinal data on immigrants is used to identify patterns of economic integration for occupational groups by key characteristics. For example, information technology (IT) workers comprise a growing proportion of recent economic immigrants, a group who tend to find work early and remain in Canada.

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Presented in Session 46: North American Labor Markets