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

Occupational distribution at two years after landing reveals progression towards higher-skilled jobs relative to Wave 1 results

Two years after arrival, almost 6 in 10 immigrants were working. Among these immigrants, nearly 3 of every 10 were working in sales and service occupations, followed by 15% in occupations in processing, manufacturing and utilities, 15% in natural and applied sciences and related occupations, and 14% in business, finance and administrative occupations.

Consistent with Wave 1 results, an occupational shift from higher to lower-skilled jobs relative to pre-immigration occupations was still present two years after arrival[Note 9]. Prior to arrival, greater proportions of immigrants had worked in relatively higher-skilled occupations such as management, natural and applied sciences, health, social sciences, education, and government service occupations. After arrival, more immigrants worked in sales and service and processing, manufacturing and utilities, which are categorized as lower-skilled occupations. In fact, among the top 5 occupations after landing, natural and applied sciences and related occupations is the only high-skill occupational group.

Table 14: Occupational distribution before and after landing, Wave 1 and Wave 2[Note 10]
Occupational distribution Before landing1 6 months after landing (Wave 1)2 Two years after landing (Wave 2)1
Total immigrants employed at the time of interview (Wave 1 & 2) 92,969 72,141 92,969
Management Occupations 10% 4% 6%
Business, Finance and Administrative Occupations 12% 13% 14%
Natural and Applied Sciences and Related Occupations 23% 14% 15%
Health Occupations 5% 3% 4%
Occupations in Social Science, Education, Government Service and Religion 10% 5% 6%
Occupations in Art, Culture, Recreation and Sport 2% 1% 2%
Sales and Service Occupations 9% 30% 27%
Trades, Transport and Equipment Operators and Related Occupations 6% 7% 9%
Occupations Unique to Primary Industry 2% 2% 2%
Occupations Unique to Processing, Manufacturing and Utilities 4% 20% 15%
Occupation Not Identified 16% 1% 0S

1 Based on the Wave 2 interview sample.

2 Based on the Wave 1 interview sample.

Note: The occupations of immigrants are classified by the first level of occupational groupings from the Standard Occupational Classification.

0S: value rounded to zero.

Source: Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Canada – Wave 1 (2001) and Wave 2 (2003)

This trend is made more evident using the second level (e.g. more detailed) of occupational groupings from the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC)[Note 11]. Table 15 shows the most common occupations at the time of the Wave 2 interview using two-digit occupational groupings from SOC.

As shown in Table 15, female immigrants were more likely to be employed in clerical jobs and sales and service occupations (12% for both) while male immigrants were more likely to be working in professional occupations in natural and applied sciences.

Table 15: Most common occupations of current job, by gender — Wave 2
  Gender All Immigrants
Male Female
Number of employed immigrants 54,306 38,663 92,969
Top Occupations of current job
Professional Occupations in Natural and Applied Sciences 14% 6% 10%
Sales and Service Occupations n.e.c. 8% 12% 9%
Clerical Occupations 6% 12% 9%
Machine Operators in Manufacturing 8% 6% 7%
Technical Occupations Related to Natural and Applied Sciences 6% 2% 5%
Teachers and Professors 4% 5% 4%
Labourers in Processing, Manufacturing and Utilities 4% 4% 4%

Percentages are based on the number of immigrants who were employed at the time of the W2 interview.

Note: The occupation groups in this table list two-digit occupational groupings from the Standard Occupational Classification. 

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

Analysis of occupational data reveals some progression towards higher-skilled occupations over time (e.g. as compared to the Wave 1 interview). For example, at six months after landing, 4% of working immigrants held jobs in management occupations whereas at two years after landing a greater proportion (6%) were working in this occupational group. The same pattern was identified for other high-skilled occupations: social science, education, government services, health, and business, finance and administrative occupations (as shown in Table 14).

Table 16: Most common occupation at the time of interview, Wave 1 and Wave 2[Note 12]
  Wave 1 Wave 2
Number of employed immigrants at the time of interview 72,141 92,969

Top Occupations Wave 1 Wave 2
Percentage Rank
Professional Occupations in Natural and Applied Sciences 11% 2 10%
Sales and Service Occupations n.e.c. 13% 1 9%
Clerical Occupations 11% 3 9%
Machine Operators in Manufacturing 8% 4 7%
Technical Occupations Related to Natural and Applied Sciences - - 5%
Teachers and Professors - - 4%
Labourers in Processing, Manufacturing and Utilities 5% 5 4%

Percentages are based on the number of immigrants who were employed at the time of the W1 or W2 interview. 

Note: The occupation groups in this table list two-digit occupational groupings from the Standard Occupational Classification. 

Source: Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Canada – Wave 1 (2001) and Wave 2 (2003)

Similarly, as shown in Table 16, professional occupations in natural and applied sciences became the most common occupational group two years after arrival, while at six months after landing sales and service occupations ranked first. Technical occupations related to natural and applied sciences entered into the top 5 most common occupations at 2 years after landing while labourers in processing, manufacturing and utilities dropped below the top 5. The Wave 2 interview suggests modest progress in the job market as characterized by job movements to higher-skilled occupations.

The third wave of LSIC will provide additional insight on job progression of the LSIC immigrant population.

Notes

9 All occupational groups can be classified by skill level based on education and training needs. Lower-skilled occupations usually require secondary school and/or occupation-specific training. Higher-skilled occupational groups usually require university education or college education and/or apprenticeship training.

10 The sample sizes in two waves are different: during the first wave of the LSIC, 12,040 immigrants were interviewed, while during the second wave, 9,322 immigrants from Wave 1 were interviewed again.

11 Analysis performed on the type of employment level at the time of interview as identified by the major occupational groups of the Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) – i.e., at the two-digit level.

12 The sample sizes in two waves are different: during the first wave of the LSIC, 12,040 immigrants were interviewed, while during the second wave, 9,322 immigrants from wave 1 were interviewed again.

Report a problem or mistake on this page
Please select all that apply:

Thank you for your help!

You will not receive a reply. For enquiries, contact us.

Date modified: