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Immigrants can help to increase the productivity for Canadian businesses

Peter Fey



Immigrants can help to increase the productivity for Canadian businesses

A recent study by the Statistics Canada study focused on assessing the influence of immigration on company-level productivity outcomes. The study found that immigrant workers promote productivity growth for businesses in Canada and can hence benefit the post-pandemic country.

Findings of the study

Statistics Canada mentions that immigrants contribute significantly to Canadian firms. The report named “Immigration and Firm Productivity: Evidence from the Canadian Employer-Employee Dynamics Database” has been compiled on data that tracks the performance of individual firms over time and evaluates the effect of immigration on worker wages, productivity levels, and business profits.

Between 2000 and 2015, immigrants who came to Canada after 1980 made up 13.5% of workers in firms employing 20 or more employees, on average. The percentage of immigrants hired by a company does not stay the same across all companies. It actually fluctuates, ranging from a rise of 15 percentage points to a drop of 15 percentage points, as indicated by the statistics in the study.

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Noticeable trends


It is not difficult to spot a positive association between the increased proportion of immigrant workers and productivity growth in a business. Similarly, immigration has a positive effect on workers’ wages as well as business profits. The impact of immigration on productivity becomes more positive when the length of the period used to measure changes is lengthened. The study generally found that longer periods were accompanied by greater effects of immigration on productivity.

Based on statistics, a 10% increase in the proportion of immigrants can be linked with a 1.9% increase in business productivity. However, individual businesses with significant increases in the proportion of immigrant workers have benefitted substantially. The influence on business productivity turned out to be more prominent for low-skilled or less-educated immigrants as compared to highly skilled immigrant workers.

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