Canadians born and educated here have a much higher employment rate

Globe and Mail
July 19, 2008

The Canadian Press

OTTAWA — Some university-educated immigrants were less likely to be employed in 2007 than their Canadian-born counterparts, a new study shows.

Statistics Canada said university-educated immigrants between the ages of 25 and 45, who arrived in Canada in the past five years, had a more difficult time finding work than native-born Canadians.

Native-born Canadians holding a university degree had an employment rate of 90.7 per cent. The study found that immigrants who were educated in Western countries were more likely to find work than those educated elsewhere. Immigrants’ employment rates varied depending on their country of origin:

United States: 77.8 per cent

Europe: 73.8 per cent

Asia: 65.5 per cent

Latin America: 59.7 per cent

Africa: 50.9 per cent

But even immigrants who received their degree at a Canadian university had lower employment rates than native-born Canadians.

Between 2002 and 2007, about 28,000 core-working-age immigrants received a degree in Canada. Despite their Canadian education, their employment rate in 2007 was 75.3 per cent – lower than the 90.7 per cent average among their Canadian- born, university-educated counterparts.

The study also found that the employment gap between degree-holding immigrants and the Canadian-born narrowed the longer an immigrant has been in Canada. University-educated immigrants who have been in Canada for more than a decade had employment rates comparable to native-born Canadians, Statistics Canada says.

Studies have shown that it is often difficult for newcomers to Canada to find work because of language barriers and their foreign credentials not being recognized. The study found immigrants with Canadian degrees in Ontario and B.C. had employment rates similar to those of Canadian-born graduates, regardless of their landing period.

Reference: Globe and Mail