Recent Immigrants in Metropolitan Areas: Montreal—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 are not as active in the labour market as the Canadian-born. The difference is nineteen percentage points for women, and eight for men. Labour force participation of immigrants who have been in Canada for a longer period of time is rather more like that of the Canadian-born, with immigrant women showing lower rates than their Canadian-born counterparts. A pattern of adjustment to and increasing involvement of immigrants in the Canadian labour market with longer stay is evident in all three age groups, for both men and women. Immigrant women have a larger gap to bridge, and do so.

Table D-1: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—labour force 15 to 64 years of age—age and gender, Montreal Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (number)
  15 to 24 years 25 to 44 years 45 to 64 years Total
Women
Canadian-born 122,480 356,140 210,910 689,520
Immigrants 13,460 76,950 60,180 150,590
 Immigrated before 1986 2,510 28,520 46,260 77,290
 Immigrated 1986-1995 7,550 31,260 10,950 49,750
 Immigrated 1996-2001 3,400 17,170 2,980 23,540
Men
Canadian-born 125,940 382,390 233,710 742,030
Immigrants 14,880 93,080 80,740 188,700
 Immigrated before 1986 2,690 31,220 61,300 95,210
 Immigrated 1986-1995 8,590 37,360 14,980 60,930
 Immigrated 1996-2001 3,610 24,510 4,470 32,580
Total
Canadian-born 248,410 738,520 444,620 1,431,540
Immigrants 28,340 170,030 140,920 339,290
 Immigrated before 1986 5,200 59,730 107,550 172,480
 Immigrated 1986-1995 16,130 68,620 25,930 110,680
 Immigrated 1996-2001 7,010 41,670 7,440 56,120

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-2: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—15 to 64 years of age—labour force participation rates, by age and gender, Montreal Census Metropolitan Area, 2001
  15 to 24 years 25 to 44 years 45 to 64 years Total
Women
Canadian-born 65% 84% 63% 73% 689,520
Immigrants 49% 70% 60% 63% 150,590
 Immigrated before 1986 65% 79% 61% 67% 77,290
 Immigrated 1986-1995 50% 70% 59% 63% 49,750
 Immigrated 1996-2001 40% 58% 50% 54% 23,540
Men
Canadian-born 66% 93% 78% 82% 742,030
Immigrants 52% 87% 80% 80% 188,700
 Immigrated before 1986 67% 90% 80% 83% 95,210
 Immigrated 1986-1995 52% 89% 81% 79% 60,930
 Immigrated 1996-2001 45% 81% 76% 74% 32,580
Total
Canadian-born 66% 88% 70% 78% 1,431,540
Immigrants 51% 78% 70% 71% 339,290
 Immigrated before 1986 66% 85% 70% 75% 172,480
 Immigrated 1986-1995 51% 79% 70% 71% 110,680
 Immigrated 1996-2001 43% 70% 63% 64% 56,120

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).

Labour force participation increased significantly between 1996 and 2001. It increased by about five percentage points for nearly all groups of women. Among men, participation increased most among very recent immigrants: by 5%, compared to 1% for the Canadian-born and 3% for those who landed in 1986-1995.

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, Montreal Census Metropolitan Area, 2001
Figure D-1A
Figure D-1B

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).

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, with one significant exception. Men who immigrated after 1986 and who at the time of the 2001 Census had only attended elementary school had a higher participation rate than those with some high school.

Table D-3: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—labour force 15 to 64 years of age—level of education and gender, Montreal Census Metropolitan Area 2001 (number)
  Less than grade 9 Some high school High school diploma College or trade diploma University degree Total
Women
Canadian-born 22,740 73,290 187,860 254,280 151,360 689,520
Immigrants 16,880 16,520 31,470 46,510 39,210 150,590
 Immigrated before 1986 10,760 7,790 15,980 24,320 18,460 77,290
 Immigrated 1986-1995 4,680 6,420 11,150 15,820 11,700 49,750
 Immigrated 1996-2001 1,450 2,330 4,350 6,370 9,050 23,540
Men
Canadian-born 39,080 108,960 192,760 254,410 146,840 742,030
Immigrants 19,530 22,190 37,510 54,530 54,960 188,700
 Immigrated before 1986 12,380 10,690 18,070 28,880 25,170 95,210
 Immigrated 1986-1995 5,460 8,670 13,710 17,270 15,800 60,930
 Immigrated 1996-2001 1,690 2,830 5,720 8,380 13,960 32,580
Total
Canadian-born 61,830 182,240 380,610 508,690 298,190 1,431,540
Immigrants 36,410 38,710 68,970 101,040 94,170 339,290
 Immigrated before 1986 23,140 18,460 34,060 53,200 43,640 172,480
 Immigrated 1986-1995 10,160 15,100 24,850 33,100 27,510 110,680
 Immigrated 1996-2001 3,130 5,160 10,060 14,750 23,020 56,120

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, Montreal Census Metropolitan Area 2001
  Less than grade 9 Some high school High school diploma College or trade diploma University degree Total
Women
Canadian-born 36% 52% 72% 83% 88% 73%
Immigrants 44% 49% 61% 73% 76% 63%
 Immigrated before 1986 44% 56% 67% 77% 83% 67%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 47% 47% 60% 74% 78% 63%
 Immigrated 1996-2001 38% 39% 49% 57% 64% 54%
Men
Canadian-born 60% 68% 82% 90% 92% 82%
Immigrants 70% 68% 78% 86% 86% 80%
 Immigrated before 1986 69% 78% 83% 87% 89% 83%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 72% 64% 75% 87% 89% 79%
 Immigrated 1996-2001 65% 53% 69% 81% 79% 74%
Total
Canadian-born 48% 61% 77% 86% 90% 78%
Immigrants 55% 59% 69% 79% 82% 71%
 Immigrated before 1986 55% 67% 75% 82% 86% 75%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 58% 56% 67% 80% 84% 71%
 Immigrated 1996-2001 49% 45% 59% 69% 73% 64%

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).

Immigrants with little schooling, even very recent immigrants, are more active in the labour market than the Canadian-born with low education. However, at all 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. Earlier immigrants with less than high school education, both men and women, participate more than do the Canadian-born with a similar education. For men with a college education or university degree the participation rates of immigrants who landed during the 1986-1995 period are the same as those of the immigrants who preceded them but are still below those of the Canadian-born.

On the whole, participation rates have increased since 1996. Recent immigrants who landed five to fifteen years before the census have seen gains at all education levels. For very recent immigrant women, the changes are small, with gains for those with high school or less education ranging between one and two percentage points and losses for those with college and above of the same magnitude.

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, Montreal Census Metropolitan Area, 2001
Figure D-2, women
Figure D-2, men

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).

Knowledge of official languages important for labour force participation

Most immigrants report that they have knowledge of either French or English when they immigrate to Canada. As reported at the time of the 2001 Census, a large proportion of men and women who immigrated during the 1990s and settled in Montreal speak both French and English (see Table B-7 and Table B-8). Those who do not report having knowledge of either official language are not nearly as active in the labour market as those who do. Those who have knowledge of both languages participate the most, followed by those who speak French only or English only, and lastly those who speak neither French nor English. It is not surprising that knowledge of both official languages is strongly associated with labour market behaviour.

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, Montreal Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (number)
  French only English only French and English Neither French nor English Total
Women
Canadian-born 228,270 13,730 447,490 689,520
Immigrants 34,340 26,820 85,630 3,800 150,590
 Immigrated before 1986 14,840 11,810 49,220 1,440 77,290
 Immigrated 1986-1995 13,140 9,490 25,680 1,430 49,750
 Immigrated 1996-2001 6,360 5,530 10,730 940 23,540
Men
Canadian-born 204,760 16,280 520,910 742,030
Immigrants 32,240 34,630 118,750 3,090 188,700
 Immigrated before 1986 13,910 12,720 67,520 1,050 95,210
 Immigrated 1986-1995 11,970 12,700 34,980 1,280 60,930
 Immigrated 1996-2001 6,370 9,210 16,240 770 32,580
Total
Canadian-born 433,020 30,010 968,400 1,431,540
Immigrants 66,580 61,460 204,370 6,890 339,290
 Immigrated before 1986 28,750 24,530 116,760 2,460 172,480
 Immigrated 1986-1995 25,120 22,190 60,660 2,710 110,680
 Immigrated 1996-2001 12,720 14,730 26,970 1,700 56,120

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, Montreal Census Metropolitan Area, 2001
  French only English only French and English Neither French nor English Total
Women
Canadian-born 66% 57% 78% 73%
Immigrants 57% 56% 72% 34% 63%
 Immigrated before 1986 57% 58% 75% 35% 67%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 60% 61% 69% 37% 63%
 Immigrated 1996-2001 53% 46% 63% 30% 54%
Men
Canadian-born 77% 71% 85% 82%
Immigrants 76% 77% 83% 61% 80%
 Immigrated before 1986 75% 78% 86% 59% 83%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 77% 79% 80% 67% 79%
 Immigrated 1996-2001 73% 71% 77% 54% 74%
Total
Canadian-born 71% 64% 82% 78%
Immigrants 65% 66% 78% 43% 71%
 Immigrated before 1986 64% 67% 81% 42% 75%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 67% 70% 75% 47% 71%
 Immigrated 1996-2001 61% 59% 71% 38% 64%

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).

Labour force participation rates of immigrants are lower than they would be if all immigrants had command of one or both of Canada’s official languages. Table B-8 shows the proportions of immigrants who speak neither English nor French. Since knowledge of at least one official language is widespread among very recent immigrants, the total effect of language on participation rates is moderate.

Unemployment not uncommon during initial years

Immigrants who are in their initial years in Canada are more likely to experience unemployment than those who have been in the country for a longer period of time. For instance, very recent immigrants in Montreal experienced unemployment rates from 21% to 24%, depending on their age group and sex. Unemployment is significantly lower among persons who immigrated before 1996 but it is still higher than for the Canadian-born.

Table D-7: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—unemployed 15 to 64 years of age—age and gender, Montreal Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (number)
  15 to 24 years 25 to 44 years 45 to 64 years Total
Women
Canadian-born 11,810 18,480 10,070 40,360
Immigrants 2,270 10,980 6,040 19,280
 Immigrated before 1986 350 2,450 3,810 6,610
 Immigrated 1986-1995 1,120 4,390 1,560 7,070
 Immigrated 1996-2001 800 4,150 670 5,620
Men
Canadian-born 15,500 21,240 12,020 48,750
Immigrants 2,850 11,800 7,180 21,820
 Immigrated before 1986 490 2,220 4,360 7,060
 Immigrated 1986-1995 1,560 4,460 1,860 7,870
 Immigrated 1996-2001 800 5,130 970 6,890
Total
Canadian-born 27,310 39,710 22,080 89,100
Immigrants 5,110 22,780 13,220 41,100
 Immigrated before 1986 840 4,660 8,160 13,660
 Immigrated 1986-1995 2,670 8,850 3,420 14,940
 Immigrated 1996-2001 1,600 9,270 1,640 12,510

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, Montreal Census Metropolitan Area, 2001
  15 to 24 years 25 to 44 years 45 to 64 years Total
Women
Canadian-born 10% 5% 5% 6% 40,360
Immigrants 17% 14% 10% 13% 19,280
 Immigrated before 1986 14% 9% 8% 9% 6,610
 Immigrated 1986-1995 15% 14% 14% 14% 7,070
 Immigrated 1996-2001 24% 24% 23% 24% 5,620
Men
Canadian-born 12% 6% 5% 7% 48,750
Immigrants 19% 13% 9% 12% 21,820
 Immigrated before 1986 18% 7% 7% 7% 7,060
 Immigrated 1986-1995 18% 12% 12% 13% 7,870
 Immigrated 1996-2001 22% 21% 22% 21% 6,890
Total
Canadian-born 11% 5% 5% 6% 89,100
Immigrants 18% 13% 9% 12% 41,100
 Immigrated before 1986 16% 8% 8% 8% 13,660
 Immigrated 1986-1995 17% 13% 13% 13% 14,940
 Immigrated 1996-2001 23% 22% 22% 22% 12,510

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).

This suggests that one or more spells of unemployment may be a fairly common experience for immigrants during their initial years in Montreal. This is particularly so during the first five years, when immigrants may not yet have secured steady jobs.

The unemployment rate for all age and gender cohorts shown in Table D-8 was lower in 2001 than in 1996. The decline was greater for all recent immigrants (four to thirteen percentage points) than for earlier immigrants and the Canadian-born (two to five percentage points).

Table D-9: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—unemployed 15 to 64 years of age—level of education and gender, Montreal Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (number)
  Less than grade 9 Some high school High school diploma College or trade diploma University degree Total
Women
Canadian-born 2,760 7,850 11,850 12,960 4,940 40,360
Immigrants 2,960 2,800 4,080 5,340 4,100 19,280
 Immigrated before 1986 1,580 980 1,350 1,860 850 6,610
 Immigrated 1986-1995 950 1,210 1,780 2,000 1,130 7,070
 Immigrated 1996-2001 410 610 960 1,490 2,140 5,620
Men
Canadian-born 4,990 11,340 13,220 14,140 5,060 48,750
Immigrants 2,120 2,980 4,580 6,380 5,770 21,820
 Immigrated before 1986 950 990 1,560 2,330 1,210 7,060
 Immigrated 1986-1995 770 1,440 1,910 2,140 1,620 7,870
 Immigrated 1996-2001 400 540 1,110 1,900 2,920 6,890
Total
Canadian-born 7,760 19,190 25,070 27,090 10,000 89,100
Immigrants 5,080 5,780 8,660 11,720 9,870 41,100
 Immigrated before 1986 2,520 1,960 2,900 4,190 2,070 13,660
 Immigrated 1986-1995 1,730 2,660 3,680 4,140 2,740 14,940
 Immigrated 1996-2001 830 1,150 2,080 3,400 5,070 12,510

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. This pattern is quite pronounced in Montreal. For instance, women who immigrated after 1995 and who have a university degree have an unemployment rate of 24%. The rate drops to 10% for immigrants who landed between 1986 and 1995 and to 5% for those who immigrated before 1986.

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, Montreal Census Metropolitan Area, 2001
  Less than grade 9 Some high school High school diploma College or trade diploma University degree Total
Women
Canadian-born 12% 11% 6% 5% 3% 6%
Immigrants 18% 17% 13% 11% 10% 13%
 Immigrated before 1986 15% 13% 8% 8% 5% 9%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 20% 19% 16% 13% 10% 14%
 Immigrated 1996-2001 28% 26% 22% 23% 24% 24%
Men
Canadian-born 13% 10% 7% 6% 3% 7%
Immigrants 11% 13% 12% 12% 10% 12%
 Immigrated before 1986 8% 9% 9% 8% 5% 7%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 14% 17% 14% 12% 10% 13%
 Immigrated 1996-2001 24% 19% 19% 23% 21% 21%
Total
Canadian-born 13% 11% 7% 5% 3% 6%
Immigrants 14% 15% 13% 12% 10% 12%
 Immigrated before 1986 11% 11% 9% 8% 5% 8%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 17% 18% 15% 13% 10% 13%
 Immigrated 1996-2001 27% 22% 21% 23% 22% 22%

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).

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

All groups, except very recent immigrant women with a university degree, had a lower unemployment rate in 2001 than in 1996. The unemployment rate of recent and very recent immigrants declined more than that of earlier immigrants and the Canadian-born.

Table D-11: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—unemployed 15 to 64 years of age—knowledge of official languages and gender, Montreal Census Metropolitan Area, 2001
  French only English only French and English Neither French nor English Total
Women
Canadian-born 15,020 1,490 23,830 40,360
Immigrants 6,100 3,910 8,520 750 19,280
 Immigrated before 1986 1,930 1,140 3,270 260 6,610
 Immigrated 1986-1995 2,280 1,500 3,030 270 7,070
 Immigrated 1996-2001 1,900 1,290 2,220 220 5,620
Men
Canadian-born 15,690 1,880 31,160 48,750
Immigrants 4,540 4,580 12,170 550 21,820
 Immigrated before 1986 1,130 1,050 4,730 150 7,060
 Immigrated 1986-1995 1,800 1,760 4,140 200 7,870
 Immigrated 1996-2001 1,600 1,780 3,310 210 6,890
Total
Canadian-born 30,730 3,360 55,000 89,100
Immigrants 10,630 8,500 20,680 1,300 41,100
 Immigrated before 1986 3,060 2,180 8,000 420 13,660
 Immigrated 1986-1995 4,080 3,250 7,160 450 14,940
 Immigrated 1996-2001 3,490 3,060 5,530 440 12,510

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 do not speak either French or English are more likely to be unemployed than those who do. The difference in unemployment rates between those who speak both official languages and those who speak neither varies from three to eleven percentage points, depending on gender and period of immigration. The unemployment rate of those who speak one official language is in between these two extremes. It occurs among earlier immigrants as well as among recent immigrants.

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, Montreal Census Metropolitan Area, 2001
  French only English only French and English Neither French nor English Total
Women
Canadian-born 7% 11% 5% 6%
Immigrants 18% 15% 10% 20% 13%
 Immigrated before 1986 13% 10% 7% 18% 9%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 17% 16% 12% 19% 14%
 Immigrated 1996-2001 30% 23% 21% 24% 24%
Men
Canadian-born 8% 12% 6% 7%
Immigrants 14% 13% 10% 18% 12%
 Immigrated before 1986 8% 8% 7% 14% 7%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 15% 14% 12% 16% 13%
 Immigrated 1996-2001 25% 19% 20% 27% 21%
Total
Canadian-born 7% 11% 6% 6%
Immigrants 16% 14% 10% 19% 12%
 Immigrated before 1986 11% 9% 7% 17% 8%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 16% 15% 12% 17% 13%
 Immigrated 1996-2001 27% 21% 20% 26% 22%

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).

Lack of knowledge of at least one of Canada’s official languages is not a key reason for higher unemployment among recent immigrants. A large majority of immigrants speak French, English or both French and English (see Table B-8).

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

Four in ten very recent immigrant women aged 15 to 64 are employed compared to seven in ten Canadian-born women. For men, the difference is smaller—six in ten very recent immigrants are employed, and three in four Canadian-born men. As shown in the previous pages, these differences in employment rates reflect differences in labour force participation rates and in unemployment rates.

Table D-13: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—employed 15 to 64 years of age—age and gender, Montreal Census Metropolitan Area, 2001
  15 to 24 years 25 to 44 years 45 to 64 years Total
Women
Canadian-born 110,670 337,650 200,850 649,160
Immigrants 11,200 65,980 54,140 131,310
 Immigrated before 1986 2,160 26,080 42,450 70,690
 Immigrated 1986-1995 6,430 26,870 9,390 42,690
 Immigrated 1996-2001 2,600 13,020 2,310 17,930
Men
Canadian-born 110,440 361,150 221,700 693,290
Immigrants 12,040 81,290 73,570 166,890
 Immigrated before 1986 2,210 29,000 56,950 88,160
 Immigrated 1986-1995 7,030 32,910 13,120 53,050
 Immigrated 1996-2001 2,810 19,380 3,500 25,680
Total
Canadian-born 221,110 698,810 422,540 1,342,450
Immigrants 23,230 147,260 127,710 298,190
 Immigrated before 1986 4,370 55,080 99,390 158,840
 Immigrated 1986-1995 13,460 59,780 22,510 95,740
 Immigrated 1996-2001 5,410 32,400 5,800 43,610

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-14: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—15 to 64 years of age—employment rates, by age and gender, Montreal Census Metropolitan Area, 2001
  15 to 24 years 25 to 44 years 45 to 64 years Total
Women
Canadian-born 59% 80% 60% 69% 649,160
Immigrants 41% 60% 54% 55% 131,310
 Immigrated before 1986 56% 73% 56% 61% 70,690
 Immigrated 1986-1995 42% 60% 50% 54% 42,690
 Immigrated 1996-2001 31% 44% 39% 41% 17,930
Men
Canadian-born 58% 88% 74% 77% 693,290
Immigrants 42% 76% 73% 71% 166,890
 Immigrated before 1986 55% 84% 75% 77% 88,160
 Immigrated 1986-1995 43% 78% 71% 69% 53,050
 Immigrated 1996-2001 35% 64% 59% 58% 25,680
Total
Canadian-born 58% 84% 67% 73% 1,342,450
Immigrants 42% 68% 63% 63% 298,190
 Immigrated before 1986 55% 78% 65% 69% 158,840
 Immigrated 1986-1995 42% 69% 61% 62% 95,740
 Immigrated 1996-2001 33% 54% 49% 49% 43,610

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 more common than among recent immigrants. Although employment among older immigrant men who landed before 1986 is comparable to that among the Canadian-born, other earlier immigrants have employment rates lower than those of the Canadian-born. For women aged 25 to 44, the employment rate of immigrants who landed before 1986 is seven percentage points lower than the rate of the Canadian-born, and in the next age group the gap is four points. The overall employment rates show a larger gap, and this is due to the differences in age distribution (many earlier immigrants are 45 to 64 years old). Immigrants who have lived in the country for 15 years of age or more have not quite caught up to the Canadian-born.

In 2001 employment was higher among all groups than in 1996.

The jobs of recent immigrants

Part-time jobs more common for very recent immigrants aged 25 to 64

The proportion of employed persons who work part-time varies considerably by age and gender. Nearly one-half of employed young adults work part-time, mainly because many also attend school. About two in ten employed women aged 25 to 64, not including very recent immigrants, work part-time, while for men the share is 6% to 10%.

Table D-15: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—15 to 64 years of age, employed mostly part-time—age and gender, Montreal Census Metropolitan Area, 2000 (number)
  15 to 24 years 25 to 44 years 45 to 64 years Total
Women
Canadian-born 75,180 63,760 48,320 187,250
Immigrants 7,370 13,380 11,860 32,610
 Immigrated before 1986 1,330 5,190 9,190 15,710
 Immigrated 1986-1995 4,970 5,810 2,080 12,860
 Immigrated 1996-1999 1,080 2,380 590 4,050
Men
Canadian-born 61,550 23,980 17,860 103,390
Immigrants 6,650 7,710 6,540 20,900
 Immigrated before 1986 1,160 2,330 4,680 8,160
 Immigrated 1986-1995 4,290 3,520 1,440 9,240
 Immigrated 1996-1999 1,200 1,870 430 3,500
Total
Canadian-born 136,730 87,730 66,180 290,630
Immigrants 14,020 21,100 18,410 53,520
 Immigrated before 1986 2,480 7,520 13,870 23,870
 Immigrated 1986-1995 9,260 9,330 3,520 22,110
 Immigrated 1996-1999 2,280 4,250 1,020 7,550

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.

Part-time employment is somewhat more common for very recent immigrants of either gender and aged 25 to 64 than for other population groups, but this is not so for those aged 15 to 24 years.

Table D-16: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—15 to 64 years of age—percentage of employed working mostly part-time, by age and gender, Montreal Census Metropolitan Area, 2000
  15 to 24 years 25 to 44 years 45 to 64 years Total
Women
Canadian-born 57% 18% 22% 26%
Immigrants 56% 19% 20% 23%
 Immigrated before 1986 51% 18% 20% 20%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 61% 19% 20% 26%
 Immigrated 1996-1999 43% 20% 25% 24%
Men
Canadian-born 46% 6% 8% 14%
Immigrants 45% 9% 8% 12%
 Immigrated before 1986 41% 8% 8% 9%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 47% 10% 10% 16%
 Immigrated 1996-1999 41% 12% 13% 16%
Total
Canadian-born 51% 12% 15% 20%
Immigrants 50% 14% 13% 17%
 Immigrated before 1986 46% 13% 13% 14%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 53% 14% 14% 20%
 Immigrated 1996-1999 42% 15% 18% 19%

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.

The share of jobs that was part-time was lower in 2001 than in 1996 for all groups of women, with the exception of very recent immigrants. Young very recent immigrants saw an increase in part-time employment.

Larger share of recent immigrants in processing occupations

Employed immigrants are more likely than their Canadian-born counterparts to work in processing jobs. Twenty percent of employed immigrant women who have been in the country for up to 15 years are employed in processing jobs, compared to only 4% of Canadian-born women. The differences are smaller for men. By contrast, administrative and management and social occupations, which are favoured by the Canadian-born, account for a smaller share of the jobs of both earlier and recent immigrants.

The distribution of occupations of very recent immigrants is quite similar to that of those who preceded them, with one major exception: a high share of occupations is in the health and science field, especially for men, with a lower 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 similar across all groups including very recent immigrants.

Table D-17: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—employed 25 to 64 years of age—occupation groups, by gender, Montreal Census Metropolitan Area, 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 102,410 22,990 187,050 142,410 10,780 72,870 538,500
Immigrants 25,100 21,010 26,830 26,360 3,090 17,750 120,110
 Immigrated  before 1986 13,430 10,390 17,020 15,990 1,780 9,950 68,530
 Immigrated  1986-1995 8,370 7,720 6,880 6,890 1,020 5,410 36,260
 Immigrated  1996-2001 3,310 2,920 2,940 3,500 280 2,370 15,330
Men
Canadian-born 97,580 46,380 72,560 147,710 137,070 81,550 582,840
Immigrants 29,420 21,530 14,400 37,690 27,260 24,590 154,850
 Immigrated  before 1986 16,210 9,550 8,150 23,540 16,030 12,470 85,950
 Immigrated  1986-1995 9,220 8,080 4,220 9,570 8,310 6,640 46,020
 Immigrated  1996-2001 3,980 3,890 2,020 4,590 2,940 5,480 22,890
Total
Canadian-born 199,990 69,370 259,600 290,120 147,860 154,430 1,121,340
Immigrants 54,520 42,530 41,220 64,030 30,350 42,320 274,960
 Immigrated  before 1986 29,650 19,930 25,170 39,510 17,810 22,420 154,480
 Immigrated  1986-1995 17,590 15,800 11,110 16,460 9,320 12,050 82,280
 Immigrated  1996-2001 7,290 6,810 4,960 8,080 3,210 7,860 38,210
 
Women
Canadian-born 19% 4% 35% 26% 2% 14% 538,500
Immigrants 21% 17% 22% 22% 3% 15% 120,110
 Immigrated  before 1986 20% 15% 25% 23% 3% 15% 68,530
 Immigrated  1986-1995 23% 21% 19% 19% 3% 15% 36,260
 Immigrated  1996-2001 22% 19% 19% 23% 2% 15% 15,330
Men
Canadian-born 17% 8% 12% 25% 24% 14% 582,840
Immigrants 19% 14% 9% 24% 18% 16% 154,850
 Immigrated  before 1986 19% 11% 9% 27% 19% 15% 85,950
 Immigrated  1986-1995 20% 18% 9% 21% 18% 14% 46,020
 Immigrated  1996-2001 17% 17% 9% 20% 13% 24% 22,890
Total
Canadian-born 18% 6% 23% 26% 13% 14% 1,121,340
Immigrants 20% 15% 15% 23% 11% 15% 274,960
 Immigrated  before 1986 19% 13% 16% 26% 12% 15% 154,480
 Immigrated  1986-1995 21% 19% 13% 20% 11% 15% 82,280
 Immigrated  1996-2001 19% 18% 13% 21% 8% 21% 38,210

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, Montreal Census Metropolitan Area, 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.

More recent immigrants in manufacturing, fewer in the public sector

Compared to their Canadian-born counterparts, a larger proportion of recent immigrants in Montreal aged 25 to 64 are employed in manufacturing and in hospitality and other services. By contrast, construction and transportation and the public sector account for a smaller share of jobs of recent immigrants than of the Canadian-born.

Figure D-4: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—employed 25 to 64 years of age—industry sector, by gender, Montreal Census Metropolitan Area, 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.

Table D-18: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—employed 25 to 64 years of age—industry sector, by gender, Montreal Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (number and percentage distribution)
  Manu-
facturing
Con-
struction and Trans-
portation
Trade Busi-
ness services
Public
sector
Hospitality and other services Total
Women
Canadian-born 61,280 39,190 80,510 102,040 190,380 65,100 538,500
Immigrants 29,030 4,900 16,430 17,830 33,970 17,980 120,100
 Immigrated  before 1986 14,960 3,180 9,310 10,120 21,500 9,490 68,500
 Immigrated  1986-1995 10,130 1,230 4,880 4,910 9,010 6,130 36,300
 Immigrated  1996-2001 3,930 470 2,270 2,800 3,480 2,360 15,300
Men
Canadian-born 122,300 117,420 104,530 96,380 89,810 52,430 582,800
Immigrants 43,990 19,160 25,780 24,080 18,430 23,410 154,900
 Immigrated  before 1986 22,160 11,780 14,610 12,440 12,210 12,740 86,000
 Immigrated  1986-1995 14,720 5,290 7,920 6,460 4,020 7,620 46,000
 Immigrated  1996-2001 7,100 2,100 3,260 5,170 2,210 3,070 22,900
Total
Canadian-born 183,570 156,600 185,040 198,410 280,190 117,530 1,121,300
Immigrants 73,020 24,060 42,220 41,910 52,410 41,390 275,000
 Immigrated  before 1986 37,140 14,980 23,900 22,570 33,690 22,230 154,500
 Immigrated  1986-1995 24,880 6,500 12,800 11,380 13,010 13,730 82,300
 Immigrated  1996-2001 11,010 2,580 5,510 7,970 5,690 5,440 38,200
 
Women
Canadian-born 11% 7% 15% 19% 35% 12% 100%
Immigrants 24% 4% 14% 15% 28% 15% 100%
 Immigrated  before 1986 22% 5% 14% 15% 31% 14% 100%
 Immigrated  1986-1995 28% 3% 13% 14% 25% 17% 100%
 Immigrated  1996-2001 26% 3% 15% 18% 23% 15% 100%
Men
Canadian-born 21% 20% 18% 17% 15% 9% 100%
Immigrants 28% 12% 17% 16% 12% 15% 100%
 Immigrated  before 1986 26% 14% 17% 14% 14% 15% 100%
 Immigrated  1986-1995 32% 11% 17% 14% 9% 17% 100%
 Immigrated  1996-2001 31% 9% 14% 23% 10% 13% 100%
Total
Canadian-born 16% 14% 17% 18% 25% 10% 100%
Immigrants 27% 9% 15% 15% 19% 15% 100%
 Immigrated  before 1986 24% 10% 15% 15% 22% 14% 100%
 Immigrated  1986-1995 30% 8% 16% 14% 16% 17% 100%
 Immigrated  1996-2001 29% 7% 14% 21% 15% 14% 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.

Compared to 1996, very recent immigrants have found more jobs in business services, and fewer in manufacturing and hospitality and other services. This may reflect changes in job availability due to the growth of the Montreal economy since 1996.

Skill requirements of jobs of recent immigrant women lower

With the exception of top skill level jobs for men, the jobs of recent immigrants require lower skills than the jobs of the Canadian-born. Three in ten jobs of Canadian-born women require a college diploma or a trade apprenticeship. For women who landed after 1996, only two in ten jobs require this level of skill. Recent immigrant women are more concentrated than other groups in jobs requiring the lowest two levels of skill.

Table D-19: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—employed 25 to 64 years of age—skill requirements of jobs, by gender, Montreal Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (number and percentage distribution)
  No formal education High school plus job training College or trade apprenticeship University Total
Women
Canadian-born 38,550 171,620 159,630 168,710 538,490
Immigrants 13,650 44,630 28,610 33,230 120,110
 Immigrated before 1986 6,280 24,690 17,170 20,400 68,540
 Immigrated 1986-1995 5,290 14,170 8,170 8,650 36,260
 Immigrated 1996-2001 2,100 5,780 3,260 4,200 15,330
Men
Canadian-born 47,590 156,250 183,210 195,800 582,850
Immigrants 15,700 42,200 42,330 54,630 154,850
 Immigrated before 1986 7,410 21,280 25,320 31,950 85,960
 Immigrated 1986-1995 5,580 14,490 11,910 14,060 46,020
 Immigrated 1996-2001 2,720 6,430 5,110 8,620 22,880
Total
Canadian-born 86,130 327,870 342,850 364,510 1,121,350
Immigrants 29,350 86,820 70,940 87,860 274,960
 Immigrated before 1986 13,680 45,980 42,480 52,340 154,480
 Immigrated 1986-1995 10,850 28,650 20,080 22,700 82,280
 Immigrated 1996-2001 4,820 12,200 8,370 12,810 38,210
 
Women
Canadian-born 7% 32% 30% 31% 100%
Immigrants 11% 37% 24% 28% 100%
 Immigrated before 1986 9% 36% 25% 30% 100%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 15% 39% 23% 24% 100%
 Immigrated 1996-2001 14% 38% 21% 27% 100%
Men
Canadian-born 8% 27% 31% 34% 100%
Immigrants 10% 27% 27% 35% 100%
 Immigrated before 1986 9% 25% 29% 37% 100%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 12% 31% 26% 31% 100%
 Immigrated 1996-2001 12% 28% 22% 38% 100%
Total
Canadian-born 8% 29% 31% 33% 100%
Immigrants 11% 32% 26% 32% 100%
 Immigrated before 1986 9% 30% 27% 34% 100%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 13% 35% 24% 28% 100%
 Immigrated 1996-2001 13% 32% 22% 34% 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.

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 middle group of immigrants, who landed between 1986 and 1995, does not fit this pattern. Their jobs on average require less skill than the jobs of very recent immigrants. This group may have made gains since they landed, but high educational attainment and an improving economy may have enabled the latest immigrant cohort to find jobs with rather high skill levels.

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.

Figure D-5: Immigrants by period of immigration and Canadian-born—employed 25 to 64 years of age—skill requirements of jobs, by gender, Montreal Census Metropolitan Area, 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.

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. But only one-half of employed women who immigrated after 1995 have a job at that level. Three-quarters of Canadian-born men with a university degree, but only six in ten very recent immigrant men have a job requiring a university education.

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, Montreal Census Metropolitan Area, 2001 (number and percentage distribution)
  No formal education High school plus job training College or trade apprenticeship University Total
Women
Canadian-born 1,130 13,580 22,870 97,360 134,940
Immigrants 890 5,920 6,410 20,760 33,980
 Immigrated before 1986 210 2,210 2,930 11,970 17,310
 Immigrated 1986-1995 300 2,070 2,060 5,570 9,990
 Immigrated 1996-2001 390 1,640 1,420 3,220 6,690
Men
Canadian-born 1,690 10,590 19,050 104,230 135,550
Immigrants 1,350 5,810 7,340 33,720 48,190
 Immigrated before 1986 340 2,070 3,180 18,110 23,700
 Immigrated 1986-1995 510 2,060 2,320 8,850 13,730
 Immigrated 1996-2001 500 1,690 1,830 6,760 10,760
Total
Canadian-born 2,810 24,170 41,910 201,590 270,480
Immigrants 2,230 11,720 13,740 54,470 82,170
 Immigrated before 1986 540 4,290 6,120 30,080 41,010
 Immigrated 1986-1995 820 4,120 4,390 14,420 23,730
 Immigrated 1996-2001 890 3,320 3,250 9,980 17,440
 
Women
Canadian-born 1% 10% 17% 72% 100%
Immigrants 3% 17% 19% 61% 100%
 Immigrated before 1986 1% 13% 17% 69% 100%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 3% 21% 21% 56% 100%
 Immigrated 1996-2001 6% 25% 21% 48% 100%
Men
Canadian-born 1% 8% 14% 77% 100%
Immigrants 3% 12% 15% 70% 100%
 Immigrated before 1986 1% 9% 13% 76% 100%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 4% 15% 17% 64% 100%
 Immigrated 1996-2001 5% 16% 17% 63% 100%
Total
Canadian-born 1% 9% 15% 75% 100%
Immigrants 3% 14% 17% 66% 100%
 Immigrated before 1986 1% 10% 15% 73% 100%
 Immigrated 1986-1995 3% 17% 18% 61% 100%
 Immigrated 1996-2001 5% 19% 19% 57% 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.

The skill level of jobs of university graduates increased between 1996 and 2001, mainly in the form of a shift from jobs requiring a high school diploma to jobs requiring a university education. For immigrants who landed in the five years before the census, the shift from jobs requiring high school to jobs requiring university was around five percentage points for both men and women.

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, Montreal Census Metropolitan Area, 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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