Can more immigrants fix Canada's job market?
While unemployment is at an all-time low, many Canadian companies are in desperate need of workers. New immigrants can fill the gap, experts say. But there are some important factors to consider.
The shortage of labor in the Canadian labor market is becoming increasingly visible. Here's what's happening.
Immigration experts in Canada believe the Canadian government's new plan to increase the flow of immigrants could relieve pressure on the country's labor market. But the situation requires big changes. It requires making sure that new permanent residents meet the actual demands of the Canadian job market and are suitable for those jobs that have been vacant for a long time.
The federal government's new plan indicates the need to accept 1.45 million new permanent residents in the next 3 years. In 2023, Canada plans to admit 465,000 immigrants, rising to 500,000 in 2025. By comparison, Canada accepted only 341,000 new permanent residents in 2019.
According to Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), the new plan is designed to attract workers to key sectors such as health services, high-skilled trades, manufacturing and information technology. Experts believe these skills are needed, but increasing the flow of immigrants is only one part of the plan's success. In their view, the new plan must necessarily take into account temporary foreign workers and international students, as well as address a much broader range of occupations.
According to recent data from Statistics Canada, new immigrants are much less likely to realize their knowledge and skills than Canadian-born professionals. Meanwhile, fields such as transportation and warehousing, accommodation and food services are overcrowded with recent immigrants. The government has created an imbalance between the skills that are actually needed in the labor market and the occupations that its immigration policy approves.
In 2021, international students and temporary foreign workers, as a result, accounted for most half of all recent immigrants. 67% of the top applicants were previously from these two categories. That said, federal immigration policy seems to focus on occupations requiring high skill levels, which predictably prevents many temporary foreign workers and international students from obtaining residency. This is despite the fact that Canada's greatest need is for low-skilled, inexperienced workers. And that is exactly the kind of work that former students and international workers take on.
Experts assure that right now there are many workers with temporary status in Canada who cannot get residency until the government changes its priorities and recognizes that the country really needs them.
As a reminder, if you want to move to Canada, you can contact our immigration company. Since 2015, we have been helping people immigrate and adapt to Canada and go to study there.
As mentioned above, the Canadian government is planning to admit 465,000 immigrants in 2023. 266,210 of them will come through the economic immigration programs, 106,500 through the family immigration program, and 92,290 through the asylum and humanitarian immigration programs. If you don't know how Canada's immigration system works, read our article on the subject.