Immigration to New Brunswick will have to be increased to overcome the serious labor shortage crisis faced by the province, says a report produced by the New Brunswick Multicultural Council (NBMC). New Brunswick will have to welcome around 7500 immigrants a year to meet the increasing demands of the labor market, according to the report.
Necessity to increase immigration to New Brunswick
The NBMC report says that New Brunswick will be losing 110,200 workers by 2026 as the population is aging fast and a significant proportion of workers are about to retire. At the same time, the number of students who will be graduating from the high schools of New Brunswick is expected to be around 76000. It means New Brunswick labor force will have to address a shortage of thousands of workers.
The labor shortage is already affecting the economy of the province as a result of which, many employers have been compelled to relocate to other parts of Canada or the US. Further, NBMC predicts that the lack of population and labor market growth will lead to a shortfall in tax revenue for the province. This will affect public services, especially healthcare, at a time when an aging population will need it the most.
Immigration rate has to be raised
NBMC argues that New Brunswick’s population has to be increased by one percent every year through immigration for sustainable population growth and availability of the workforce. It means the current rate of immigration to New Brunswick has to be doubled. The NBMC report notes that the only growth in New Brunswick labor market, recorded between 2013 and 2017, was owing to immigration.
Role of NBPNP and Atlantic Immigration Pilot
As the level of immigration to New Brunswick has to be raised, NBPNP and Atlantic Immigration Pilot program will have major roles to play. NBPNP or the provincial nominee program of New Brunswick allows to province to nominate eligible skilled workers, entrepreneurs and international graduates for permanent residence in Canada. The PNP also has a stream aligned to the Express Entry system. The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program is an employer-driven federal-provincial partnership program that helps employers in the Atlantic Canada region hire foreign workers. The NBMC report further suggests launching a new immigration stream for family reunification of economic immigrants and to increase francophone immigration to the province.
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