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

The majority of immigrants had participated in the labour force and nearly six out of ten found work two years after arrival

For most immigrants, finding employment is a critical step for integration. In total, about 130,300 or over 80% of all immigrants had participated in the labour market after two years in Canada: either had been employed or tried to look for work. Skilled worker principal applicants had the highest participation rate (94%) while family class immigrants had the lowest (70%).

There was a participation “catch-up” for refugees: while refugees had the lowest labour market participation rate six months after arrival in Canada (44%), one and half years later, this group had  increased their participation rate in the labour market dramatically (73%).Considering the fact that 70% of refugees who were not in the labour force had been studying or taking training during the first 6 months after arrival, the increased participation rate suggests that as courses or training were completed, large numbers of refugees made the move to participate in the labour market.

Table 5: Labour force status, by immigration category — Wave 2
  Immigration Category
Family  Class Skilled Workers (PA) Skilled Workers (S&D) Refugees Others All Immigrants
Total number of immigrants 43,131 55,976 40,812 9,811 11,072 160,801
In the labour force1
Number of immigrants 30,352 52,817 32,016 7,134 7,993 130,312
Percentage of all immigrants 70% 94% 58% 60% 44% 81%
Not in the labour force2
Number of immigrants 12,779 3,159 8,796 2,676 3,080 30,489
Percentage of all immigrants 30% 6% 22% 27% 28% 19%

1 For the definition of labour force in this paper, see definition box at page 1.

2 For the definition of “not in the labour force” in this paper, see definition box at page 1.

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

At the time of the Wave 2 interview, about 58% of all immigrants were employed, and 23% were unemployed. There were 19% or roughly 30,500 immigrants who did not try to look for employment during the first two years in Canada. Table 6 describes the labour force status of all immigrants at the time of second interview[Note 5].

Table 6: Labour force status at the time of the Wave 2 interview — Wave 2
  Number Percent
Currently employed 92,969 58%
Currently unemployed 37,344 23%
Not in the labour force 30,489 19%

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

Notes

5 In the Wave 1 micro data file released in 2003, there was a variable describing the labour force status of immigrants (“currently employed”, “currently unemployed” and “not in the labour force”). However, new variables providing the labour force status for Wave 1 and 2 were created in the Wave 2 micro data file, under which the possible statuses for the LSIC immigrants are “currently employed” and “currently unemployed”. Thus, for those who were “currently unemployed” at the time of the Wave 2 interview, we can not distinguish those in the labour force from those not in the labour force solely from the newly created labour force variables.

In this paper, reported labour force status statistics are derived by the author using relevant variables in the Wave 2 micro data file, according to the definitions specified in the definition box at page 1.

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