Immigrants’ wages have been on a rise in the recent years in Canada, found a study by Statistics Canada. Immigrants who became permanent residents in 2018 were reported to be earning a median wage of $31900 in 2019, which is the highest among all groups of immigrants who came to Canada since 1981. It shows there had been a 4% rise in median wages in 2019 compared to 2017.
Statistics Canada's study was based on the data from the Longitudinal Immigration Database. It provides information on various characteristics of immigrants at the time of admission, their economic outcomes and regional mobility. When the principal applicants of economic-class immigration programs alone were taken into consideration, their median wages were higher than the Canadian born population in 2019. These immigrants, who had landed in Canada in 2018 had a median salary of $43,600, which was 12% higher than the median wage of Canadian born persons in the same year, which was $38,800.
Experts point out that this could be the result of how the economic immigrants are selected. They are chosen on the basis of their ability to integrate into the Canadian labour market and to contribute to the growth of the Canadian economy. Most of these immigrants have post-secondary education and proficiency in at least one of the two official languages of Canada.
Another contributing factor to high earning capacity of the new immigrants is the Canadian work experience. Those immigrants who had both study and work experience in Canada had the highest median wage one year later.
Data from the Longitudinal Immigration Database also give some useful insights into the mobility of the new immigrants. It shows that immigrants who have previous study or work experience in Canada are likely to remain in their province or territory of destination even after admission. Employment was found to be a major factor in deciding whether an immigrant would move to another province or territory in the initial years of admission. If family members resided in the same province, it also contributed to higher retention rates. The provinces which had the highest retention rates were Ontario and British Columbia, followed by Alberta.
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