ARCHIVED – The Labour Market Progression of the LSIC Immigrants

A Perspective from the Second Wave of the Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Canada (LSIC)-Two Years after Landing

Majority of immigrants finding employment encountered difficulties

Finding employment in a new labour market is not easy. Nearly 7 out of 10 immigrants who had looked for jobs since the first wave interview reported that they had encountered at least one difficulty. While all immigration categories had large proportions of immigrants who reported difficulties in finding jobs, skilled worker principal applicants had the highest proportion (73%) followed by refugees (71%) and skilled worker spouses and dependants (70%).

Table 3: Employment Difficulties, by immigration category — Wave 2
  Immigration Category
Family  Class Skilled Workers (PA) Skilled Workers (S&D) Refugees Others All Immigrants
Immigrants who tried to find employment 20,523 38,237 23,769 5,890 4,871 93,290
Immigrants reporting difficulties finding job
Number 12,248 28,051 16,605 4,169 2,788 63,860
Percentage of immigrants who tried to find job 60% 73% 70% 71% 57% 68%
Most serious difficulty (selected types)
Not enough job experience in Canada 25% 27% 28% 26% 23% 27%
Language problems 21% 9% 18% 30% 16% 15%
Not enough jobs available 17% 16% 12% 10% 17% 15%
Qualifications outside Canada not accepted 8% 10% 11% 6% 11% 10%
Job experience outside Canada not accepted 2% 14% 9% 3%E 4%E 9%

E Use with caution.

Source: Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Canada – Wave 2 (2003)

When looking at difficulties in finding a job for all immigrants, lack of Canadian job experience ranked the most commonly reported serious difficulty (27%), which was the same with the Wave 1 result. Language problems were the second most commonly cited difficulty for all immigrants, although language problems were quite different by category of immigration. Refugees had the highest proportion reporting language problems at 30% while only 9% of skilled worker principal applicants reported the same problem.

If we compare the proportions reporting language problems as the most serious difficulty in finding jobs in different points of time, we can see what looks like progress in language abilities for all immigration categories. For instance, results from Wave 1 showed 33% of all family class immigrants who tried to find employment stated language problems as the most serious difficulty. Two years after arrival, only 21% family class immigrants who tried to look for a job reported language as the most serious problem.

Table 4: Employment Difficulties, by gender — Wave 2
  Male Female All Immigrants
Immigrants who tried to find employment 50,819 42,472 93,290
Immigrants reporting difficulties finding job
Number 35,127 28,733 63,860
Percentage 69% 68% 68%
Most serious difficulty (selected types)
Not enough job experience in Canada 27% 26% 27%
Language problems 12% 20% 15%
Not enough jobs available 16% 14% 15%
Qualifications outside Canada not accepted 10% 10% 10%
Job experience outside Canada not accepted 11% 7% 9%

Source: Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Canada – Wave 2 (2003)

It is perhaps not a surprise that male immigrants were less likely (12%) than female immigrants (20%) to report language problems, given that more males immigrated as skilled worker principal applicants (77%). Immigrants in this category are selected in part based on their language abilities.

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