This is the overall understanding of several reports published over the last year that studied employment inequity in the labour market. These reports, focusing mainly on Ontario – still the most popular destination for new immigrants – show that immigrant populations are some of the most underemployed in Canada.
This is clearly related to policy formulation. Or lack of it. For Canada, which relies heavily on immigration to seal the cracks in its fast-aging economy, providing new immigrants of working age with opportunities that make immediate use of their expertise, is the smart policy to pursue.
But is this happening? The evidence shows, not that much.
The Express Entry System for instance, which was introduced in 2014 to better align immigration to skill-sets, was meant to ensure that those who came to Canada did so with the benefit of existing employment opportunities upon arrival. However, a study conducted by the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in 2016 found that the “Canada first” strategy for immigration had been overtaken by the “Canadians first” policy.