This post focuses on employment and unemployment among immigrants in Ontario by period of immigration and by class of worker (employee v. self-employed). It draws on two very detailed tables. Table 9 Percentage of population that was employed (1) for immigrants and non-immigrant, Ontario, 2011 can be accessed by clicking here. Table 10 Percentage of population employed as paid employees and as self-employed by age for non-immigrants and immigrants, Ontario, 2011 can be accessed by clicking here.
Due to the size of the tables, row numbers have been included and are referenced in this article.
The employment rate of immigrants to Ontario has some correlation with time of arrival. Immigrants who arrived before 1981 are older (almost half are 65 or older) and have lower employment rates. Immigrants who arrived between 1981 and 2005 have higher employment rates than non-immigrants. Immigrants who arrived from 2006 to 2011 have much lower employment rates. These findings suggest that newer immigrant cohorts are having difficulty entering the labour force
In more detail:
In 2011, there were 3.4 million immigrants in Ontario who were 15 years of age and over (Table 9, row 1). This represented 33% of all individuals 15+ years in Ontario.
The employment rate (i.e. the percent of the population employed) during the reference week of the National Household Survey (NHS) (Sunday, May 1st to Saturday, May 7th) was 60% for all Ontario residents who were 15 years of age and over (Table 9, row 11).
The employment rate was 62% for non-immigrants and 56% for all immigrants. Digging deeper, we see variation in immigrant employment by period of arrival of the immigrant:
Among immigrants who arrived before 1981, the employment rate was 42%, much lower than the overall rate for immigrants. These immigrants represent 34% of all immigrants in Ontario (Table 9, row 1). And 48% of them were 65 years of age and over in 2011 (Table 10, row 15). Thus, the employment rate for this group would be expected to be lower.
Among immigrants who arrived between 1981 and 2005, the employment rate was above the 62% rate for non-immigrants (Table 9, row 11).
However, among immigrants who arrived from 2006 to 2011, the employment rate was much lower (42%) (Table 9, row 11). The percent in the experienced labour force is also less (52%, Table 9, row 9) than immigrants in any other period of arrival. Also, the percent in the experienced labour force for immigrants who arrived from 2006 to 2011 was lower for each age group (Table 10, 2nd last column, rows 26 to 31).
The same overall patterns also may be noted in Table 9 for the experienced labour force (i.e., those employed or unemployed during the reference week of the NHS plus those who had worked since January, 2010) (Table 9, row 9).
It is also worth noting that, for immigrants in each period of arrival in Canada, the number “not in the labour force” (Table 9, row 7) (i.e. those not working and not unemployed during the reference week of the NHS but who had worked since January, 2010) was larger than those unemployed. In other words, more immigrants were outside the labour force altogether (students, homemakers, retirees, and others) than were looking for work but unable to find it.
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Sarah Wayland, Principal Investigator and Ray Bollman
Tables created by Ray Bollman