Recent Immigrants in Metropolitan Areas: Canada—A Comparative Profile Based on the 2001 Census

Part D: Participation in the Economy

Participation in the labour market

Labour force participation lower the more recent the arrival

Very recent immigrants 15 to 64 years old are not as active in the labour market as the Canadian-born of the same age. The difference is 15% for women, and 7% for men. Labour force participation of immigrants who landed during the 1986-1995 period is more like that of the Canadian-born, while earlier immigrants tend to be somewhat more active in the labour market than the Canadian-born, regardless of their age and gender.

This pattern of adjustment, that is, greater involvement of immigrants in the Canadian labour market the longer their length of stay in Canada, is evident in all age groups, for both men and women. Immigrant women have a larger gap to bridge. The high participation of immigrant men 45 to 64 years of age who landed in Canada before 1986 suggests that they may be retiring later than the Canadian-born to make up for lower earnings following immigration. High participation of the small number of young earlier immigrants may have to do with differences in school attendance.

Table D-1: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—labour force 15 to 64 years of age—age and gender, Canada, 2001 (number)
  15 to 24 years 25 to 44 years 45 to 64 years Total
Women
Canadian-born 1,115,800 2,973,400 1,764,600 5,853,800
Immigrants 126,100 715,400 587,900 1,429,400
  Immigrated before 1986 20,700 279,900 446,500 747,100
  Immigrated 1986-1995 70,500 283,200 109,000 462,700
  Immigrated 1996-2001 34,900 152,300 32,400 219,600
Men
Canadian-born 1,193,800 3,267,800 2,096,400 6,558,000
Immigrants 132,600 771,300 725,800 1,629,600
  Immigrated before 1986 22,200 295,300 545,100 862,600
  Immigrated 1986-1995 76,500 296,700 131,700 504,900
  Immigrated 1996-2001 33,900 179,300 49,000 262,200
Total
Canadian-born 2,309,600 6,241,200 3,861,100 12,411,800
Immigrants 258,700 1,486,700 1,313,700 3,059,100
  Immigrated before 1986 42,900 575,200 991,600 1,609,600
  Immigrated 1986-1995 147,000 579,900 240,700 967,600
  Immigrated 1996-2001 68,800 331,600 81,400 481,900

Note: Tables D-1 to D-14 describe labour force participation, employment and unemployment in the week before the 2001 Census, May 6-12, 2001. A person is in the labour force if he/she is employed or unemployed, (actively looking for work).

Figure D-1: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—15 to 64 years of age—labour force participation rates, by age and gender, Canada, 2001
Figure D-1, Women
Figure D-1, Men

Note: Figures D-1 and D-2 describe labour force participation, employment and unemployment in the week before the 2001 Census, May 6-12, 2001. A person is in the labour force if he/she is employed or unemployed, (actively looking for work).

Overall, labour force participation was higher in 2001 than in 1996. The Canadian economy was stronger in 2001 than in 1996, and this drew people into the labour market from the ranks of newcomers (the young and the newly landed) and from among women and men aged 45 and over. Very recent immigrants showed gains in labour force participation of 3% for women, the same as for Canadian-born women, and 4% for men, compared to no change for Canadian-born men.

Table D-2: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—15 to 64 years of age—labour force participation rates, by age and gender, Canada, 2001
  15 to 24 years 25 to 44 years 45 to 64 years Total
Women
Canadian-born 66% 82% 64% 73% 5,853,800
Immigrants 55% 75% 63% 68% 1,429,400
  Immigrated before 1986 73% 83% 65% 71% 747,100
  Immigrated 1986-1995 56% 75% 62% 68% 462,700
  Immigrated 1996-2001 46% 64% 50% 58% 219,600
Men
Canadian-born 67% 92% 79% 82% 6,558,000
Immigrants 55% 90% 81% 82% 1,629,600
  Immigrated before 1986 73% 92% 82% 85% 862,600
  Immigrated 1986-1995 56% 90% 82% 81% 504,900
  Immigrated 1996-2001 48% 85% 74% 75% 262,200
Total
Canadian-born 67% 87% 72% 78% 12,411,800
Immigrants 55% 82% 72% 75% 3,059,100
  Immigrated before 1986 73% 87% 73% 78% 1,609,600
  Immigrated 1986-1995 56% 82% 72% 74% 967,600
  Immigrated 1996-2001 47% 74% 62% 66% 481,900

Note: Tables D-1 to D-14 describe labour force participation, employment and unemployment in the week before the 2001 Census, May 6-12, 2001. A person is in the labour force if he/she is employed or unemployed, (actively looking for work).

Pattern of adjustment similar for most levels of education

Generally speaking, the higher the level of education the greater the proportion of people who participate in the labour market. This observation holds for the Canadian-born as well as for all three groups of immigrants. The major exception concerns men who immigrated after 1986 and who at the time of the 2001 Census had only attended elementary school. They had a higher participation rate than those with some high school.

Immigrants with little schooling, even very recent immigrants, are more active in the labour market than the Canadian-born with low education. But at other education levels, there is a common pattern of relatively low participation rates for very recent immigrants, and convergence to the rates of the Canadian-born with longer stay. Men with some high school or a high school diploma face a larger adjustment gap after arrival than men with post-secondary training. Women, at all but the lowest level of educational attainment, face a larger gap in labour force participation, with rates 13% to 20% lower than their Canadian-born counterparts.

Participation rates by level of education have changed very little since 1996. The very recent immigrants were the only group with higher participation in 2001 than in 1996 for both genders and nearly all education levels, but the increases were only 1% to 3%.

Table D-3: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born— labour force 15 to 64 years of age—level of education and gender, Canada, 2001 (number)
  Less than grade 9 Some high school High school diploma College or trade diploma University degree Total
Women
Canadian-born 127,100 1,020,300 1,585,800 2,044,200 1,076,500 5,853,800
Immigrants 92,100 200,400 326,900 451,500 358,500 1,429,400
  Immigrated before   1986 55,300 103,600 167,600 255,800 164,700 747,100
  Immigrated 1986-   1995 27,000 69,400 114,900 142,300 109,100 462,700
  Immigrated 1996-   2001 9,900 27,400 44,400 53,400 84,600 219,600
Men
Canadian-born 266,900 1,422,100 1,649,800 2,175,500 1,043,700 6,558,000
Immigrants 106,100 240,000 321,900 504,600 457,100 1,629,600
  Immigrated before   1986 64,700 124,000 156,000 307,200 210,800 862,600
  Immigrated
 1986-1995
31,100 84,800 120,800 141,300 126,800 504,900
  Immigrated
 1996-2001
10,200 31,200 45,100 56,100 119,500 262,200
Total
Canadian-born 394,000 2,442,400 3,235,600 4,219,600 2,120,200 12,411,800
Immigrants 198,200 440,400 648,800 956,100 815,600 3,059,100
  Immigrated before   1986 120,000 227,600 323,600 563,000 375,500 1,609,600
  Immigrated
  1986-1995
58,100 154,200 235,700 283,500 236,000 967,600
  Immigrated
  1996-2001
20,100 58,600 89,500 109,500 204,200 481,900

Note: Tables D-1 to D-14 describe labour force participation, employment and unemployment in the week before the 2001 Census, May 6-12, 2001. A person is in the labour force if he/she is employed or unemployed, (actively looking for work).

Table D-4: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—15 to 64 years of age—labour force participation rates, by level of education and gender, Canada, 2001
  Less than grade 9 Some high school High school diploma College or trade diploma University degree Total
Women
Canadian-born 34% 56% 75% 82% 86% 73%
Immigrants 43% 55% 67% 76% 78% 68%
  Immigrated before 1986 44% 62% 72% 78% 83% 71%
  Immigrated 1986-1995 46% 53% 66% 79% 80% 68%
  Immigrated 1996-2001 38% 43% 54% 65% 68% 58%
Men
Canadian-born 59% 70% 86% 90% 91% 82%
Immigrants 71% 70% 80% 88% 88% 82%
  Immigrated before 1986 69% 80% 86% 87% 90% 85%
  Immigrated 1986-1995 76% 65% 78% 90% 89% 81%
  Immigrated 1996-2001 67% 53% 69% 84% 84% 75%
Total
Canadian-born 48% 64% 80% 86% 88% 78%
Immigrants 55% 62% 73% 82% 83% 75%
  Immigrated before 1986 54% 70% 78% 83% 87% 78%
  Immigrated 1986-1995 58% 59% 72% 84% 85% 74%
  Immigrated 1996-2001 48% 48% 61% 73% 77% 66%

Note: Tables D-1 to D-14 describe labour force participation, employment and unemployment in the week before the 2001 Census, May 6-12, 2001. A person is in the labour force if he/she is employed or unemployed, (actively looking for work).

Figure D-2: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—15 to 64 years of age—labour force participation rates, by level of education and gender, Canada, 2001
Figure D-2, Women
Figure D-2, Men

Note: Figures D-1 and D-2 describe labour force participation, employment and unemployment in the week before the 2001 Census, May 6-12, 2001. A person is in the labour force if he/she is employed or unemployed, (actively looking for work).

Knowledge of English important for labour force participation

Most immigrants can converse in either English or French when they immigrate to Canada. Those who do not speak English or French are not nearly as active in the labour market as those who do. Immigrants who do not speak official languages probably have difficulty finding jobs with employers who do not speak their native tongue. The gap in labour force participation between those who speak neither official language, and those who speak one or both, is larger for earlier than for recent immigrants, and for women than for men.

For both genders, labour force participation is higher among the English-speaking than the French-speaking population, and it generally highest among those who are bilingual, if not much higher than among English-speaking persons. This applies to immigrants as well as the Canadian-born, which suggests that differences among labour markets in different parts of the country play an important role with respect to labour market participation by immigrants.

Table D-5: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—labour force 15 to 64 years of age—knowledge of official languages and gender, Canada, 2001 (number)
  English only French only Both French and English Neither French nor English Total
Women
Canadian-born 3,698,700 776,400 1,377,600 5,853,800
Immigrants 1,151,300 42,500 190,800 44,800 1,429,400
  Immigrated before 1986 605,300 18,500 112,400 10,900 747,100
  Immigrated 1986-1995 373,200 15,900 54,700 18,900 462,700
  Immigrated 1996-2001 172,700 8,100 23,700 15,100 219,600
Men
Canadian-born 4,260,200 804,000 1,492,600 6,558,000
Immigrants 1,317,900 41,000 229,600 41,200 1,629,600
  Immigrated before 1986 699,200 18,100 135,400 9,900 862,600
  Immigrated 1986-1995 408,300 14,800 63,200 18,600 504,900
  Immigrated 1996-2001 210,400 8,100 31,000 12,800 262,200
Total
Canadian-born 7,958,900 1,580,400 2,870,200 12,411,800
Immigrants 2,469,200 83,500 420,400 86,000 3,059,100
  Immigrated before 1986 1,304,500 36,600 247,800 20,700 1,609,600
  Immigrated 1986-1995 781,500 30,700 117,900 37,400 967,600
  Immigrated 1996-2001 383,100 16,200 54,700 27,800 481,900

Note: Tables D-1 to D-14 describe labour force participation, employment and unemployment in the week before the 2001 Census, May 6-12, 2001. A person is in the labour force if he/she is employed or unemployed, (actively looking for work).

Table D-6: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—15 to 64 years of age—labour force participation rates, by knowledge of official languages and gender, Canada, 2001
  English only French only Both French and English Neither French nor English Total
Women
Canadian-born 74% 64% 76% 73%
Immigrants 69% 58% 73% 40% 68%
  Immigrated before 1986 71% 58% 77% 38% 71%
  Immigrated 1986-1995 71% 61% 69% 42% 68%
  Immigrated 1996-2001 60% 53% 65% 38% 58%
Men
Canadian-born 83% 77% 83% 82%
Immigrants 83% 75% 83% 64% 82%
  Immigrated before 1986 85% 76% 86% 64% 85%
  Immigrated 1986-1995 82% 77% 79% 69% 81%
  Immigrated 1996-2001 76% 71% 78% 59% 75%
Total
Canadian-born 78% 70% 80% 78%
Immigrants 76% 65% 78% 49% 75%
  Immigrated before 1986 78% 66% 82% 47% 78%
  Immigrated 1986-1995 76% 68% 74% 52% 74%
  Immigrated 1996-2001 68% 61% 72% 45% 66%

Note: Tables D-1 to D-14 describe labour force participation, employment and unemployment in the week before the 2001 Census, May 6-12, 2001. A person is in the labour force if he/she is employed or unemployed, (actively looking for work).

Unemployment not uncommon during initial years

Immigrants who have been in Canada for only a few years are more likely to experience unemployment than those who have been in the country for a longer period of time. For instance, very recent immigrant men experienced unemployment rates from 11% to 15%, depending on their age group; in comparison, very recent immigrant women experienced rates of 16% to 17%. Unemployment is significantly lower among persons who immigrated before 1996, except for the youngest age group.

The unemployment rate was lower in 2001 than in 1996 for all groups shown in Table D-8. The decline was greater for the young and for very recent immigrants—4% to 9%—than for other groups—2% to 5%. All groups experienced lower unemployment, while the increase in labour force participation that occurred was not as universal, as shown earlier.

Table D-7: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—unemployed 15 to 64 years of age—age and gender, Canada, 2001 (number)
  15 to 24 years 25 to 44 years 45 to 64 years Total
Women
Canadian-born 141,600 180,800 86,200 408,700
Immigrants 18,700 63,400 33,700 115,800
  Immigrated before 1986 2,500 15,700 20,200 38,400
  Immigrated 1986-1995 10,400 23,700 8,400 42,400
  Immigrated 1996-2001 5,800 24,000 5,100 35,000
Men
Canadian-born 169,800 216,100 128,900 514,800
Immigrants 19,700 53,400 38,200 111,300
  Immigrated before 1986 3,000 14,200 23,500 40,700
  Immigrated 1986-1995 11,500 18,900 8,600 39,000
  Immigrated 1996-2001 5,100 20,300 6,100 31,600
Total
Canadian-born 311,400 396,900 215,100 923,400
Immigrants 38,400 116,800 71,900 227,100
  Immigrated before 1986 5,500 29,900 43,600 79,100
  Immigrated 1986-1995 21,900 42,500 17,000 81,500
  Immigrated 1996-2001 11,000 44,400 11,300 66,600

Note: Tables D-1 to D-14 describe labour force participation, employment and unemployment in the week before the 2001 Census, May 6-12, 2001. A person is in the labour force if he/she is employed or unemployed, (actively looking for work).

Table D-8: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—15 to 64 years of age—unemployment rates, by age and gender, Canada, 2001
  15 to 24 years 25 to 44 years 45 to 64 years Total
Women
Canadian-born 13% 6% 5% 7% 408,700
Immigrants 15% 9% 6% 8% 115,800
  Immigrated before 1986 12% 6% 5% 5% 38,400
  Immigrated 1986-1995 15% 8% 8% 9% 42,400
  Immigrated 1996-2001 17% 16% 16% 16% 35,000
Men
Canadian-born 14% 7% 6% 8% 514,800
Immigrants 15% 7% 5% 7% 111,300
  Immigrated before 1986 14% 5% 4% 5% 40,700
  Immigrated 1986-1995 15% 6% 7% 8% 39,000
  Immigrated 1996-2001 15% 11% 12% 12% 31,600
Total
Canadian-born 13% 6% 6% 7% 923,400
Immigrants 15% 8% 5% 7% 227,100
  Immigrated before 1986 13% 5% 4% 5% 79,100
  Immigrated 1986-1995 15% 7% 7% 8% 81,500
  Immigrated 1996-2001 16% 13% 14% 14% 66,600

Note: Tables D-1 to D-14 describe labour force participation, employment and unemployment in the week before the 2001 Census, May 6-12, 2001. A person is in the labour force if he/she is employed or unemployed, (actively looking for work).

The pattern just displayed, of unemployment rates that vary inversely with length of stay in Canada, occurs at all levels of education. For instance, men who immigrated after 1996, and have a high school diploma, have an unemployment rate of 12%. The rate drops to 9% for immigrants who landed between 1986 and 1995.

Immigrant women experience more unemployment than men with the same level of education during the first five years in Canada and also during the next ten years. The gap between recent immigrants and the Canadian-born is also larger for women than for men, again for any level of education.

Less educated recent immigrants experience lower unemployment in comparison to their Canadian-born counterparts than recent immigrants with more education. This suggests that it takes time for better educated immigrants to find steady employment at a level that corresponds to their level of education. Regardless of their education level, earlier immigrants generally experience slightly lower unemployment than the Canadian-born.

All groups shown in the table had a lower unemployment rate in 2001 than in 1996. The unemployment rate declined more for recent and very recent immigrants than for earlier immigrants and the Canadian-born. As well, the improvement was generally greater the lower the level of education.

Table D-9: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—unemployed 15 to 64 years of age—level of education and gender, Canada, 2001 (number)
  Less than grade 9 Some high school High school diploma College or trade diploma University degree Total
Women
Canadian-born 19,500 110,200 122,500 114,000 42,500 408,700
Immigrants 9,600 18,800 28,600 30,900 27,900 115,800
  Immigrated before 1986 4,200 6,300 9,100 12,500 6,300 38,400
  Immigrated 1986-1995 3,400 8,300 12,500 10,600 7,700 42,400
  Immigrated 1996-2001 2,000 4,200 7,000 7,900 14,000 35,000
Men
Canadian-born 45,400 164,200 132,700 137,100 35,400 514,800
Immigrants 7,400 19,300 25,300 29,900 29,400 111,300
  Immigrated before 1986 3,500 7,500 8,600 14,400 6,700 40,700
  Immigrated 1986-1995 2,700 8,100 11,200 9,100 7,900 39,000
  Immigrated 1996-2001 1,300 3,700 5,500 6,300 14,700 31,600
Total
Canadian-born 64,900 274,400 255,300 251,100 77,900 923,400
Immigrants 17,000 38,100 53,800 60,900 57,300 227,100
  Immigrated before 1986 7,700 13,700 17,700 26,900 13,000 79,100
  Immigrated 1986-1995 6,000 16,400 23,700 19,700 15,600 81,500
  Immigrated 1996-2001 3,300 7,900 12,400 14,200 28,700 66,600

Note: Tables D-1 to D-14 describe labour force participation, employment and unemployment in the week before the 2001 Census, May 6-12, 2001. A person is in the labour force if he/she is employed or unemployed, (actively looking for work).

Table D-10: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—15 to 64 years of age—unemployment rates, by level of education and gender, Canada, 2001
  Less than grade 9 Some high school High school diploma College or trade diploma University degree Total
Women
Canadian-born 15% 11% 8% 6% 4% 7%
Immigrants 10% 9% 9% 7% 8% 8%
  Immigrated before 1986 8% 6% 5% 5% 4% 5%
  Immigrated 1986-1995 13% 12% 11% 7% 7% 9%
  Immigrated 1996-2001 20% 15% 16% 15% 17% 16%
Men
Canadian-born 17% 12% 8% 6% 3% 8%
Immigrants 7% 8% 8% 6% 6% 7%
  Immigrated before 1986 5% 6% 6% 5% 3% 5%
  Immigrated 1986-1995 9% 10% 9% 6% 6% 8%
  Immigrated 1996-2001 12% 12% 12% 11% 12% 12%
Total
Canadian-born 16% 11% 8% 6% 4% 7%
Immigrants 9% 9% 8% 6% 7% 7%
  Immigrated before 1986 6% 6% 5% 5% 3% 5%
  Immigrated 1986-1995 10% 11% 10% 7% 7% 8%
  Immigrated 1996-2001 16% 14% 14% 13% 14% 14%

Note: Tables D-1 to D-14 describe labour force participation, employment and unemployment in the week before the 2001 Census, May 6-12, 2001. A person is in the labour force if he/she is employed or unemployed, (actively looking for work).

Recent immigrants who speak English, whether male or female, are less likely to be unemployed than those that do not, those who speak French, or those who are bilingual. The probability of being unemployed is highest among recent immigrants who speak French, and it is quite similar for those who speak neither language and those who speak both.

Lack of knowledge of Canada’s languages appears to be a barrier to labour force participation. While knowledge of English is an asset for recent immigrants in the labour market, the unemployment rates of French-speaking recent immigrants suggest that they may have difficulty adjusting to the Canadian labour market. Differences in unemployment rates by knowledge of languages, however, may reflect differences between local labour markets. Between 85% and 90% of unilingual French immigrants and recent immigrants live in Montreal, Ottawa and Québec, and in 2001, unemployment was relatively high in Montreal.


Table D-11: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—unemployed 15 to 64 years of age—knowledge of official languages and gender, Canada, 2001 (number)
  English only French only Both French and English Neither French nor English Total
Women
Canadian-born 254,100 62,700 91,700 408,700
Immigrants 85,900 7,100 16,400 6,300 115,800
  Immigrated before 1986 28,600 2,200 6,400 1,200 38,400
  Immigrated 1986-1995 31,600 2,700 5,900 2,300 42,400
  Immigrated 1996-2001 25,700 2,300 4,200 2,800 35,000
Men
Canadian-born 324,700 81,900 107,900 514,800
Immigrants 82,000 5,400 19,400 4,600 111,300
  Immigrated before 1986 30,600 1,400 8,000 800 40,700
  Immigrated 1986-1995 28,800 2,100 6,400 1,800 39,000
  Immigrated 1996-2001 22,700 1,900 5,000 2,000 31,600
Total
Canadian-born 578,800 144,600 199,700 923,400
Immigrants 167,900 12,600 35,800 10,900 227,100
  Immigrated before 1986 59,100 3,600 14,300 2,000 79,100
  Immigrated 1986-1995 60,400 4,800 12,300 4,100 81,500
  Immigrated 1996-2001 48,400 4,200 9,200 4,800 66,600

Note: Tables D-1 to D-14 describe labour force participation, employment and unemployment in the week before the 2001 Census, May 6-12, 2001. A person is in the labour force if he/she is employed or unemployed, (actively looking for work).

Table D-12: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—15 to 64 years of age—unemployment rates, by knowledge of official languages and gender, Canada, 2001
  English only French only Both French and English Neither French nor English Total
Women
Canadian-born 7% 8% 7% 7%
Immigrants 7% 17% 9% 14% 8%
  Immigrated before 1986 5% 12% 6% 11% 5%
  Immigrated 1986-1995 8% 17% 11% 12% 9%
  Immigrated 1996-2001 15% 28% 18% 19% 16%
Men
Canadian-born 8% 10% 7% 8%
Immigrants 6% 13% 8% 11% 7%
  Immigrated before 1986 4% 8% 6% 8% 5%
  Immigrated 1986-1995 7% 14% 10% 10% 8%
  Immigrated 1996-2001 11% 23% 16% 16% 12%
Total
Canadian-born 7% 9% 7% 7%
Immigrants 7% 15% 9% 13% 7%
  Immigrated before 1986 5% 10% 6% 10% 5%
  Immigrated 1986-1995 8% 16% 10% 11% 8%
  Immigrated 1996-2001 13% 26% 17% 17% 14%

Note: Tables D-1 to D-14 describe labour force participation, employment and unemployment in the week before the 2001 Census, May 6-12, 2001. A person is in the labour force if he/she is employed or unemployed, (actively looking for work).

Share of men and women with jobs increases with length of stay

One in two very recent immigrant women aged 15 to 64 are employed compared to two in three Canadian-born women. For men, the difference is smaller: two out of three very recent immigrants are employed, and three out of four Canadian-born men. As shown in the previous pages, these differences in employment ratios reflect mainly differences in labour force participation rates.

Table D-13: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—employed 15 to 64 years of age—age and gender, Canada, 2001 (number)
  15 to 24 years 25 to 44 years 45 to 64 years Total
Women
Canadian-born 974,200 2,792,600 1,678,400 5,445,200
Immigrants 107,400 652,000 554,300 1,313,600
  Immigrated before 1986 18,200 264,200 426,400 708,700
  Immigrated 1986-1995 60,100 259,500 100,600 420,300
  Immigrated 1996-2001 29,100 128,300 27,300 184,600
Men
Canadian-born 1,024,000 3,051,700 1,967,600 6,043,200
Immigrants 112,900 717,900 687,500 1,518,300
  Immigrated before 1986 19,200 281,100 521,600 821,800
  Immigrated 1986-1995 64,900 277,800 123,000 465,800
  Immigrated 1996-2001 28,800 159,000 42,900 230,600
Total
Canadian-born 1,998,200 5,844,200 3,646,000 11,488,400
Immigrants 220,300 1,369,900 1,241,800 2,832,000
  Immigrated before 1986 37,300 545,300 948,000 1,530,600
  Immigrated 1986-1995 125,100 537,400 223,700 886,100
  Immigrated 1996-2001 57,900 287,200 70,200 415,300

Note: Tables D-1 to D-14 describe labour force participation, employment and unemployment in the week before the 2001 Census, May 6-12, 2001. A person is in the labour force if he/she is employed or unemployed, (actively looking for work).

Among immigrants who landed before 1986, employment is significantly more common than among the more recently landed, but not quite as common as among the Canadian-born. However, earlier immigrants of either gender and in all three age groups are more likely to be employed than their Canadian-born counterparts.

In 2001 employment was higher among all groups than in 1996. The changes were greater for the young and older than for those of prime labour force age. The very recent immigrants made the largest gain. The share of very recent immigrants who were employed was 6% higher in 2001 than in 1996.

Table D-14: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—15 to 64 years of age—employment rates, by age and gender, Canada, 2001
  15 to 24 years 25 to 44 years 45 to 64 years Total
Women
Canadian-born 57% 77% 61% 68% 5,445,200
Immigrants 46% 68% 60% 62% 1,313,600
  Immigrated before 1986 64% 78% 62% 67% 708,700
  Immigrated 1986-1995 47% 69% 57% 62% 420,300
  Immigrated 1996-2001 38% 54% 42% 49% 184,600
Men
Canadian-born 58% 86% 74% 76% 6,043,200
Immigrants 47% 84% 77% 76% 1,518,300
  Immigrated before 1986 63% 88% 78% 81% 821,800
  Immigrated 1986-1995 47% 85% 76% 74% 465,800
  Immigrated 1996-2001 40% 76% 65% 66% 230,600
Total
Canadian-born 58% 82% 68% 72% 11,488,400
Immigrants 47% 76% 68% 69% 2,832,000
  Immigrated before 1986 64% 83% 70% 74% 1,530,600
  Immigrated 1986-1995 47% 76% 67% 68% 886,100
  Immigrated 1996-2001 39% 64% 54% 57% 415,300

Note: Tables D-1 to D-14 describe labour force participation, employment and unemployment in the week before the 2001 Census, May 6-12, 2001. A person is in the labour force if he/she is employed or unemployed, (actively looking for work).

The jobs of recent immigrants

Part-time jobs more common for very recent male immigrants

The proportion of employed persons who work part-time varies considerably by age and gender. Half or more of employed young adults work part-time, mainly because many also attend school. One-fifth to one-quarter of employed women aged 25 to 44 and 45 to 64 work part-time, while fewer than one in ten men do so. Part-time employment is more common among very recent immigrant men than among other groups of men.

The prevalence of part-time employment was marginally lower for the various cohorts in 2001 than in 1996 for most age groups with the exception of an increase for very recent young immigrants.

Table D-15: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—15 to 64 years of age, employed mostly part-time—age and gender, Canada, 2000 (number)
  15 to 24 years 25 to 44 years 45 to 64 years Total
Women
Canadian-born 706,900 721,800 484,500 1,913,100
Immigrants 73,500 143,900 141,500 358,800
  Immigrated before 1986 11,200 57,400 110,200 178,800
  Immigrated 1986-1995 46,500 59,400 24,100 130,100
  Immigrated 1996-1999 15,800 27,000 7,100 49,900
Men
Canadian-born 604,100 195,400 175,600 975,100
Immigrants 66,700 50,200 57,600 174,500
  Immigrated before 1986 9,600 17,200 40,800 67,500
  Immigrated 1986-1995 42,600 21,300 11,700 75,600
  Immigrated 1996-1999 14,500 11,800 5,100 31,400
Total
Canadian-born 1,311,000 917,100 660,100 2,888,200
Immigrants 140,100 194,100 199,000 533,300
  Immigrated before 1986 20,800 74,600 151,000 246,300
  Immigrated 1986-1995 89,100 80,700 35,800 205,600
  Immigrated 1996-1999 30,300 38,800 12,200 81,300

Note: Tables D-15 and D-16 do not include immigrants who landed in 2000 or 2001. Only persons who landed before 2000 are included among immigrants and very recent immigrants. Part-time employment is defined as having worked less than 30 hours per week during most of the weeks worked in the year 2000.

Table D-16: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—15 to 64 years of age—percentage of employed working mostly part-time, age and gender, Canada, 2000
  15 to 24 years 25 to 44 years 45 to 64 years Total
Women
Canadian-born 58% 24% 26% 31%
Immigrants 59% 21% 23% 25%
  Immigrated before 1986 52% 20% 24% 23%
  Immigrated 1986-1995 62% 21% 22% 27%
  Immigrated 1996-1999 57% 24% 27% 30%
Men
Canadian-born 47% 6% 8% 14%
Immigrants 50% 7% 8% 11%
  Immigrated before 1986 40% 6% 7% 8%
  Immigrated 1986-1995 52% 7% 9% 15%
  Immigrated 1996-1999 52% 9% 13% 16%
Total
Canadian-born 52% 14% 16% 22%
Immigrants 54% 14% 15% 18%
  Immigrated before 1986 46% 13% 15% 15%
  Immigrated 1986-1995 57% 14% 15% 21%
  Immigrated 1996-1999 54% 16% 19% 22%

Note: Tables D-15 and D-16 do not include immigrants who landed in 2000 or 2001. Only persons who landed before 2000 are included among immigrants and very recent immigrants. Part-time employment is defined as having worked less than 30 hours per week during most of the weeks worked in the year 2000.

Very recent male immigrants in health and science, women in processing

Table D-17 Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—employed 25 to 64 years of age—
occupation groups, by gender, Canada, 2001 (number and percentage distribution)
  Sales and services Pro-
cessing
Admin-
istrative
Manage-
ment and social sciences
Trades, transport Health, science Total
Women
Canadian-born 1,021,900 244,300 1,376,700 1,135,600 100,000 592,500 4,471,000
Immigrants 298,000 139,400 320,300 253,500 29,500 165,500 1,206,300
 Immigrated
 before 1986
157,500 62,600 200,500 162,400 16,500 91,200 690,600
 Immigrated
 1986-1995
97,000 54,000 86,500 63,100 9,500 50,100 360,200
 Immigrated
 1996-2001
43,500 22,800 33,300 28,000 3,600 24,200 155,500
Men
Canadian-born 751,400 692,800 466,800 1,145,600 1,376,600 586,000 5,019,200
Immigrants 225,500 185,500 129,800 314,100 320,100 230,400 1,405,400
 Immigrated
 before 1986
121,300 91,500 73,600 203,500 194,900 117,900 802,700
 Immigrated
 1986-1995
70,300 62,600 37,200 74,800 93,400 62,500 400,900
 Immigrated
 1996-2001
33,800 31,300 19,000 35,800 31,900 50,000 201,900
Total
Canadian-born 1,773,300 937,200 1,843,600 2,281,200 1,476,600 1,178,400 9,490,200
Immigrants 523,500 324,900 450,100 567,600 349,700 395,900 2,611,700
 Immigrated
 before 1986
278,900 154,100 274,100 365,800 211,300 209,000 1,493,300
 Immigrated
 1986-1995
167,300 116,600 123,700 137,900 102,900 112,700 761,000
 Immigrated
 1996-2001
77,400 54,200 52,300 63,800 35,500 74,200 357,400
 
Women
Canadian-born 23% 5% 31% 25% 2% 13% 100%
Immigrants 25% 12% 27% 21% 2% 14% 100%
 Immigrated
 before 1986
23% 9% 29% 24% 2% 13% 100%
 Immigrated
 1986-1995
27% 15% 24% 18% 3% 14% 100%
 Immigrated
 1996-2001
28% 15% 21% 18% 2% 16% 100%
Men
Canadian-born 15% 14% 9% 23% 27% 12% 100%
Immigrants 16% 13% 9% 22% 23% 16% 100%
 Immigrated
 before 1986
15% 11% 9% 25% 24% 15% 100%
 Immigrated
 1986-1995
18% 16% 9% 19% 23% 16% 100%
 Immigrated
 1996-2001
17% 16% 9% 18% 16% 25% 100%
Total
Canadian-born 19% 10% 19% 24% 16% 12% 100%
Immigrants 20% 12% 17% 22% 13% 15% 100%
 Immigrated
 before 1986
19% 10% 18% 24% 14% 14% 100%
 Immigrated
 1986-1995
22% 15% 16% 18% 14% 15% 100%
 Immigrated
 1996-2001
22% 15% 15% 18% 10% 21% 100%

Note: Job characteristics presented in Tables D-17 to D-20 relate to jobs held at the time of the census or the job of longest duration from January 2000 to May 15, 2001. The information pertains to persons 25 to 64 years of age. Younger people are not included here since many of them are still in school, and their jobs tend to be short-term and part-time and less likely to be related to their education and career choices than the jobs of older adults. Occupation groups are defined in the Glossary.

Figure D-3: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—employed 25 to 64 years of age—occupation groups, by gender, Canada, 2001 (percentage distribution)
Figure D-3, Women
Figure D-3, Men

Note: Job characteristics presented in Figures D-3 to D-6 relate to jobs held at the time of the census or the job of longest duration from January 2000 to May 15, 2001. The information pertains to persons 25 to 64 years of age. Younger people are not included here since many of them are still in school, and their jobs tend to be short-term and part-time and less likely to be related to their education and career choices than the jobs of older adults. Occupation groups are defined in the Glossary.

Generally, immigrants and the Canadian-born have made similar choices with regard to their occupation. Among the more significant differences is the fact that immigrant women are more likely than the Canadian-born to work in processing occupations, and also to some extent in sales and service occupations. Health and science occupations are more common among immigrant men than among their Canadian-born counterparts. Offsetting this is the lower presence of immigrant women in administrative occupations and in management and social occupations, and of immigrant men in trades and transport occupations. These differences are more pronounced for the more recent immigrant cohorts.

Most remarkable for the latest immigrant cohort is the high share of occupations of men in the health and science field, and the low share in trades and transport. This is something specific to the latest cohort, as five years earlier the share of jobs in health occupations was quite similar across all groups including very recent immigrants.

There are probably many factors that contribute to these patterns, including the selection of immigrants (reflecting both government policies and the demand for skills from industry) and their level of education and field of studies.

Many very recent immigrants in manufacturing and business services

A large proportion of employed recent immigrants aged 25 to 64 work in manufacturing industries, business services industries, and hospitality and other services. In contrast, construction and transportation and the public sector account for a smaller share of the jobs of recent immigrants than of the Canadian-born.

Compared to 1996, employment in business services industries is more prevalent among the very recent immigrant cohort and employment in hospitality and other services is less prevalent. This reflects the patterns of employment growth in the economy since 1996.

Table D-18: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—employed 25 to 64 years of age—industry sector, by gender, Canada, 2001 (number and percentage distribution)
  Manu-
facturing
Con-
struction and Trans-
portation
Trade Busi-
ness services
Public
sector
Hospi-
tality and other services
Total
Women
Canadian-born 496,100 286,800 658,600 692,500 1,755,500 581,500 4,471,000
Immigrants 202,200 58,400 172,700 216,700 356,400 199,900 1,206,300
 Immigrated
 before 1986
100,000 37,500 96,200 122,600 232,700 101,600 690,600
 Immigrated
 1986-1995
71,600 15,100 52,300 63,000 90,400 67,700 360,200
 Immigrated
 1996-2001
30,700 5,800 24,200 31,100 33,300 30,600 155,500
Men
Canadian-born 1,283,400 1,081,700 816,300 634,000 805,600 398,100 5,019,200
Immigrants 367,400 247,300 212,900 239,800 168,400 169,500 1,405,400
 Immigrated
 before 1986
199,100 153,700 118,600 125,900 116,200 89,200 802,700
 Immigrated
 1986-1995
112,500 68,800 63,500 64,800 35,700 55,600 400,900
 Immigrated
 1996-2001
55,800 24,900 30,900 49,000 16,500 24,800 201,900
Total
Canadian-born 1,779,500 1,368,500 1,474,900 1,326,600 2,561,100 979,600 9,490,200
Immigrants 569,600 305,800 385,600 456,400 524,800 369,500 2,611,700
 Immigrated
 before 1986
299,100 191,200 214,700 248,500 348,900 190,800 1,493,300
 Immigrated
 1986-1995
184,100 83,900 115,900 127,800 126,200 123,300 761,000
 Immigrated
 1996-2001
86,500 30,700 55,000 80,100 49,700 55,400 357,400
 
Women
Canadian-born 11% 6% 15% 15% 39% 13% 100%
Immigrants 17% 5% 14% 18% 30% 17% 100%
 Immigrated
 before 1986
14% 5% 14% 18% 34% 15% 100%
 Immigrated
 1986-1995
20% 4% 15% 17% 25% 19% 100%
 Immigrated
 1996-2001
20% 4% 16% 20% 21% 20% 100%
Men
Canadian-born 26% 22% 16% 13% 16% 8% 100%
Immigrants 26% 18% 15% 17% 12% 12% 100%
 Immigrated
 before 1986
25% 19% 15% 16% 14% 11% 100%
 Immigrated
 1986-1995
28% 17% 16% 16% 9% 14% 100%
 Immigrated
 1996-2001
28% 12% 15% 24% 8% 12% 100%
Total
Canadian-born 19% 14% 16% 14% 27% 10% 100%
Immigrants 22% 12% 15% 17% 20% 14% 100%
 Immigrated
 before 1986
20% 13% 14% 17% 23% 13% 100%
 Immigrated
 1986-1995
24% 11% 15% 17% 17% 16% 100%
 Immigrated
 1996-2001
24% 9% 15% 22% 14% 16% 100%

Note: Job characteristics presented in Tables D-17 to D-20 relate to jobs held at the time of the census or the job of longest duration from January 2000 to May 15, 2001. The information pertains to persons 25 to 64 years of age. Younger people are not included here since many of them are still in school, and their jobs tend to be short-term and part-time and less likely to be related to their education and career choices than the jobs of older adults. Occupation groups are defined in the Glossary.

Figure D-4: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—employed 25 to 64 years of age—industry sector, by gender, Canada, 2001 (percentage distribution)
Figure D-4, Women
Figure D-4, Men

Note: Job characteristics presented in Figures D-3 to D-6 relate to jobs held at the time of the census or the job of longest duration from January 2000 to May 15, 2001. The information pertains to persons 25 to 64 years of age. Younger people are not included here since many of them are still in school, and their jobs tend to be short-term and part-time and less likely to be related to their education and career choices than the jobs of older adults. Occupation groups are defined in the Glossary.

Skill requirements of jobs of recent immigrant women somewhat lower

Table D-19: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—employed 25 to 64 years of age—skill requirements of jobs, by gender, Canada, 2001 (number and percentage distribution)
  No
formal education
High school plus job training College
or trade
apprenticeship
University Total
Women
Canadian-born 390,200 1,458,900 1,275,600 1,346,200 4,471,000
Immigrants 148,100 430,300 295,800 332,000 1,206,000
  Immigrated before 1986 69,700 231,800 182,800 206,400 691,000
  Immigrated 1986-1995 54,100 139,900 81,000 85,100 360,000
  Immigrated 1996-2001 24,300 58,600 32,100 40,500 156,000
Men
Canadian-born 435,700 1,362,800 1,731,700 1,489,000 5,019,200
Immigrants 132,200 368,900 426,600 477,700 1,405,400
  Immigrated before 1986 63,800 190,700 263,100 285,000 802,700
  Immigrated 1986-1995 45,000 122,600 115,300 118,000 400,900
  Immigrated 1996-2001 23,300 55,500 48,300 74,700 201,900
Total
Canadian-born 825,900 2,821,800 3,007,300 2,835,200 9,490,200
Immigrants 280,300 799,300 722,400 809,700 2,611,700
  Immigrated before 1986 133,500 422,500 445,900 491,400 1,493,300
  Immigrated 1986-1995 99,100 262,600 196,200 203,100 761,000
  Immigrated 1996-2001 47,700 114,200 80,300 115,200 357,400
 
Women
Canadian-born 9% 33% 29% 30% 100%
Immigrants 12% 36% 25% 28% 100%
  Immigrated before 1986 10% 34% 26% 30% 100%
  Immigrated 1986-1995 15% 39% 22% 24% 100%
  Immigrated 1996-2001 16% 38% 21% 26% 100%
Men
Canadian-born 9% 27% 35% 30% 100%
Immigrants 9% 26% 30% 34% 100%
  Immigrated before 1986 8% 24% 33% 36% 100%
  Immigrated 1986-1995 11% 31% 29% 29% 100%
  Immigrated 1996-2001 12% 28% 24% 37% 100%
Total
Canadian-born 9% 30% 32% 30% 100%
Immigrants 11% 31% 28% 31% 100%
  Immigrated before 1986 9% 28% 30% 33% 100%
  Immigrated 1986-1995 13% 35% 26% 27% 100%
  Immigrated 1996-2001 13% 32% 22% 32% 100%

Note: Job characteristics presented in Tables D-17 to D-20 relate to jobs held at the time of the census or the job of longest duration from January 2000 to May 15, 2001. The information pertains to persons 25 to 64 years of age. Younger people are not included here since many of them are still in school, and their jobs tend to be short-term and part-time and less likely to be related to their education and career choices than the jobs of older adults. Occupation groups are defined in the Glossary.

Figure D-5: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—employed 25 to 64 years of age—skill requirements of jobs, by gender, Canada, 2001 (percentage distribution)
Figure D-5, Women
Figure D-5, Men

Note: Job characteristics presented in Figures D-3 to D-6 relate to jobs held at the time of the census or the job of longest duration from January 2000 to May 15, 2001. The information pertains to persons 25 to 64 years of age. Younger people are not included here since many of them are still in school, and their jobs tend to be short-term and part-time and less likely to be related to their education and career choices than the jobs of older adults. Occupation groups are defined in the Glossary.

The jobs of recent immigrants require somewhat lower skills than the jobs of the Canadian-born. Three in ten jobs of Canadian-born women require the highest level of skill, a university education. For women who landed after 1986, one-quarter of jobs require a university education. The lowest level of skill is required for a larger share of the jobs of very recent immigrants than the jobs of the Canadian-born. The differences are modest, and they are larger for women than for men.

For both men and women, the skill content of jobs of immigrants who landed before 1986 is closer to that of the Canadian-born, which suggests the situation of immigrants approaches the situation of the Canadian-born as their stay in Canada lengthens. However, the jobs of very recent immigrants require as much or more skill than the jobs of immigrants who landed during the 1986-1995 period. The share of jobs requiring a university degree is rather high for the latest immigrants.

As there are differences in educational attainment between recent immigrants and the Canadian-born, the information presented in Table D-19 does not directly indicate whether the skills of recent immigrants are fully or less than fully employed in the economy. To determine this, one has to compare the skill levels of jobs of recent immigrants and the Canadian-born for a given level of education. This is done in Table D-20 for persons holding a university degree.

Education of recent immigrants not fully utilized

The jobs of recent immigrants with a university degree do not require the same level of skill as the jobs of the Canadian-born. Seven in ten employed Canadian-born women with a university degree have a job requiring a university degree. However, only four in ten employed women who immigrated after 1995 have a job at that level. Three-quarters of Canadian-born men with a university degree, but only 57% of very recent immigrant men who graduated from university, have a job requiring a university education. Thus, the similarity in the skill requirements of jobs of recent immigrants and the Canadian-born shown earlier is a result of higher educational attainment of recent immigrants and lower skill requirements of their jobs.

The skill level of jobs of university graduates did not change in a major way between 1996 and 2001. The share of their jobs requiring university level skills increased by 2% for the Canadian-born and by 5% for very recent immigrants, and did not change for other immigrants.

Table D-20: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—employed university graduates, 25 to 64 years of age—skill requirements of jobs, by gender, Canada, 2001 (number and percentage distribution)
  No
formal education
High school plus job training College or trade apprenticeship University Total
Women
Canadian-born 10,300 106,500 159,300 675,100 951,200
Immigrants 13,300 65,700 62,300 177,300 318,600
  Immigrated before 1986 2,900 22,900 28,900 100,700 155,300
  Immigrated 1986-1995 4,800 23,100 20,100 47,300 95,400
  Immigrated 1996-2001 5,700 19,700 13,300 29,300 67,900
Men
Canadian-born 15,000 79,000 148,500 719,700 962,100
Immigrants 15,500 55,300 71,100 277,600 419,400
  Immigrated before 1986 3,700 18,000 30,800 149,300 201,800
  Immigrated 1986-1995 4,900 18,400 21,300 70,000 114,700
  Immigrated 1996-2001 6,800 18,900 18,900 58,300 102,900
Total
Canadian-born 25,200 185,600 307,700 1,394,800 1,913,300
Immigrants 28,800 121,000 133,400 454,900 738,000
  Immigrated before 1986 6,600 40,900 59,700 249,900 357,100
  Immigrated 1986-1995 9,700 41,500 41,500 117,300 210,000
  Immigrated 1996-2001 12,500 38,600 32,200 87,600 170,900
 
Women
Canadian-born 1% 11% 17% 71% 100%
Immigrants 4% 21% 20% 56% 100%
  Immigrated before 1986 2% 15% 19% 65% 100%
  Immigrated 1986-1995 5% 24% 21% 50% 100%
  Immigrated 1996-2001 8% 29% 20% 43% 100%
Men
Canadian-born 2% 8% 15% 75% 100%
Immigrants 4% 13% 17% 66% 100%
  Immigrated before 1986 2% 9% 15% 74% 100%
  Immigrated 1986-1995 4% 16% 19% 61% 100%
  Immigrated 1996-2001 7% 18% 18% 57% 100%
Total
Canadian-born 1% 10% 16% 73% 100%
Immigrants 4% 16% 18% 62% 100%
  Immigrated before 1986 2% 11% 17% 70% 100%
  Immigrated 1986-1995 5% 20% 20% 56% 100%
  Immigrated 1996-2001 7% 23% 19% 51% 100%

Note: Job characteristics presented in Tables D-17 to D-20 relate to jobs held at the time of the census or the job of longest duration from January 2000 to May 15, 2001. The information pertains to persons 25 to 64 years of age. Younger people are not included here since many of them are still in school, and their jobs tend to be short-term and part-time and less likely to be related to their education and career choices than the jobs of older adults. Occupation groups are defined in the Glossary.

Figure D-6: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—25 to 64 years of age—percentage of employed university graduates with jobs requiring university education, by gender, Canada, 2001
Figure D-6

Note: Job characteristics presented in Figures D-3 to D-6 relate to jobs held at the time of the census or the job of longest duration from January 2000 to May 15, 2001. The information pertains to persons 25 to 64 years of age. Younger people are not included here since many of them are still in school, and their jobs tend to be short-term and part-time and less likely to be related to their education and career choices than the jobs of older adults. Occupation groups are defined in the Glossary.

 

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