Immigrants who are Paid Workers in Ontario’s Labour Force, by Industry Sector and Economic Region – Foundational Data #7

 

Group of business people in a meeting at the office

Today’s post continues our analysis of Statistics Canada data on immigrants across Ontario’s economic region.  Today we focus on immigrant paid employees by sector.  The post provides an overview of absolute numbers of immigrant paid employees and shows the percent distribution across industry sectors within each economic region.  Finally, we use location quotient analysis to show the relative intensity of employment of immigrant paid employees by sector within each economic region.  A subsequent post will focus on similar analysis for self-employed immigrants.

NOTE: To reference details of Tables, click each Table’s link

Key findings

  1. The three industries in Ontario where immigrants are most likely to work are Manufacturing; Retail sales; and Health care and social assistance.
  2. In Ontario, immigrants are not strongly represented in Agriculture. However, this distribution is not equal across the province: immigrants in Windsor Sarnia are six times more likely to work in this sector, and immigrants in Stratford Bruce are five times more likely to work in this sector compared to the average of immigrants working in Agriculture in Ontario as a whole.
  3. In Ontario as a whole, the data indicates that immigrants working in Agriculture have an opportunity to expand their presence.

In more detail

The number of employees in Ontario’s economic regions varies widely. Among the Canadian-born population, the number of regional employees varies from a high over just over 1.5 million in the Toronto region to a low of 105,770 in the province’s Northwest region (Table 11 Employment of non-immigrant paid employees). Given this wide variation, it is helpful to look at percent distribution of employees as opposed to absolute numbers only.

Looking at percentages ( Table 12 Percent Distribution: Employment of non-immigrant paid employees), we see that employment in Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting (Industry Sector 11) is either 1% or 2% of employment by Canadian-born paid employees in each of Ontario’s economic regions, with two exceptions.   In the Toronto region, the percent employed in this sector is 0% and in Stratford-Bruce Peninsula it is 4%. Northern Ontario has the highest percentages of employment in Mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction (Industry Sector 21).

Map-of-Ontario-Colour

Among immigrants, the number of employees also varies widely across regions, from a high of 1.4 million in Toronto to a low of 6,360 in Ontario’s Northwest (Table 13 Employment of immigrant paid employees). In the province as a whole, the three industries where immigrant paid employees are most likely to work are Manufacturing; Retail sales; and Health care and social assistance (Table 13 Employment of immigrant paid employees; Table 14 Percent Distribution: Employment of immigrant paid employees).

At REAPontario, we have a particular interest in immigrants working in some aspect of the agri-food value chain. The data shows that in Ontario immigrant paid employees are not strongly represented in Agriculture (Industry Sector 11). Indeed, across the province only 1% of immigrants work in the Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting sector (Table 14 Percent Distribution: Employment of immigrant paid employees). In certain regions, however, the immigrant labour force is much more highly concentrated in Agriculture. Of note, 6% of immigrant paid employees in Windsor Sarnia work in this sector, as do 5% of immigrants in Stratford Bruce. Of course, immigrants can be connected to agri-food in other sectors, including manufacturing, retail trade, and transportation and warehousing, so these sector figures provide us only a partial view.

To compare the concentration of Canadian-born and immigrant employees across sectors, we used location quotient analysis, as shown in Table 15 Location Quotients for relative intensity of employment of immigrant paid employees by sector within each economic region.

“Location quotient (LQ) is a statistical measure of concentration. The quotient indicates the geographical concentration of a particular activity in a particular region as a function of the expected concentration as derived from a reference group.”

In this case, we would like to compare immigrant employment sector concentration in each economic region to that of non-immigrants in each economic region.

To illustrate, in Table 14 Percent Distribution: Employment of immigrant paid employees, we see that in the Kitchener economic region (ER), 25% of immigrant paid employees are working in manufacturing (this includes all manufacturing — food processing to car manufacturing to computer components manufacturing). In comparison, 15% of non-immigrant paid employees are working in manufacturing (Table 12 Percent Distribution: Employment of non-immigrant paid employees). Thus, the location quotient of relative intensity of immigrant paid workers in the Kitchener area is 25/15= 1.7 which tells us that immigrant paid employees are 1.7 times more intensive in manufacturing employment in the Kitchener ER, compared to non-immigrant paid employees. (Note that the LQ will differ if you change the group for making the comparison.)

“An LQ >1 says that immigrants are relatively more competitive (i.e. have a greater market share) of jobs in manufacturing in this ER. Similarly, an LQ<1 shows where immigrants are relatively under-represented — and thus there may be an opportunity for them to increase their share of jobs in that sector in that region.”

The general rule is that a LQ<1 suggests an opportunity to expand the number of immigrants up to the share held by the comparison group (non-immigrants in this example). An LQ>1 suggests that immigrants are competitive in this sector because they have a bigger share than the comparison group.

In Ontario as a whole, the LQ for immigrants working in Agriculture is 0.6, indicating an opportunity to expand in the sector of employment. However, this does not hold true across the province. As shown in Table 15 Location Quotients for relative intensity of employment of immigrant paid employees by sector within each economic region, in some regions immigrants are very strongly concentrated.

Discussion Questions

  1. What factors account for the great regional variation in the LQ for immigrants working in Agriculture?
  2. In what sectors and regions might there be opportunities for immigrants to increase their employment?

Sarah V Wayland
Sarah Wayland, Principal Investigator and Ray Bollman

Tables created by Ray Bollman

 

 

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