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Unemployment rate among immigrants is the lowest of any August on record

Unemployment rate among immigrants is the lowest of any August on record

"Immigration becomes particularly crucial in sustaining labor force growth when more Canadians approach retirement age and leave the workforce." — August 2022 Labour Force Survey.

For the first time since records began to be kept in 2015, there were fewer unemployed persons in Canada (989,000) than there were open positions (1,038,000). The fact that more than a third (38%) of firms anticipate finding talented workers to be a struggle in the upcoming three months is a big surprise for job hunters. According to the LFS, employment fell by 40,000 jobs, and the national unemployment rate increased by 0.5 percentage points to 5.4%, the first increase in seven months.

Particularly, employment declined in the provinces of Manitoba, Nova Scotia, and British Columbia, while employment rose in Quebec.

Strong immigrant population

Since data have been available in 2006, Statistics Canada has observed that the jobless rate for immigrants was at its lowest point in August, falling to just 7.6%. According to the poll, as of August 2022, 875,000 of Canada's labor force members were immigrants, disproportionately concentrated in major cities like Toronto and Montreal.

Why are there so many open positions, and why do immigrants fare better in the employment market?

There are increasingly more Canadians who are pondering changing jobs. According to the LFS, the proportion of permanent employees who planned to quit their job within the next 12 months was 6.4% in January 2022; by August 2022, that number had risen to 11.9%, nearly doubling in the six months after the survey's initial data collection. The most common reason for intending to leave a job in August was continuing a career change.

But the number of Canadians who are approaching retirement age and leaving the workforce is another reason. 307,000 Canadians left their employment in August in order to retire later in the year, according to Statistics Canada. This issue is anticipated to persist in the years to come because an increasing portion of Canada's population is older.

These two elements contribute to the seeming success of immigrants in the Canadian labor market in August.

What does this signify for those looking to immigrate?

Should conditions prevail, immigrants to Canada may have a bigger role to play in the labor market in the coming years as job openings and unemployment rates both rise and an aging citizenry continues to make up a disproportionate number of the population. In fact, the LFS takes the effort to mention this: "Immigration has been particularly crucial in sustaining labor force expansion in recent years, as more and more Canadians have reached retirement age and quit the labor force."

Since the country has historically sought to address many of its labor market demands through immigration, the Federal Skilled Workers Program (FSWP), Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), and the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), in addition to the Provincial Nominee Program, are among the most popular economic immigration streams in Canada (PNP).

Canada is expected to accept 431,000 immigrants this year, and for the first time, PNP is expected to get more applications than other Express Entry-managed programs combined.

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