In recent revelations from the Financial Accountability Office of Ontario, a report on the Labor Market Outcomes of Permanent Residents in Ontario sheds light on the flourishing integration of newcomers into Ontario’s labor market.
Rising Opportunities in Ontario’s Labor Market
The report underlines the pivotal role that the employment outcomes of new permanent residents play in steering the province’s economic growth. With a record-breaking influx of 227,424 international immigrants in 2022, and the numbers expected to remain robust, immigrants have significantly contributed to nearly two-thirds of the rise in Ontario’s workforce since the mid-2010s.
Ontario, being the most sought-after province for newcomers, owes part of its appeal to the substantial allocation of nominations it receives under the Ontario Provincial Nominee Program (PNP). The province received a staggering 16,500 allocations in 2023, nearly doubling the figures from 2022.
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A Look at Profile of Newcomers
The majority of the 227,424 immigrants welcomed in 2022 fall within the core working age (under 54), comprising 92% of this demographic. Remarkably, 80% of recent immigrants in this age group possess post-secondary education credentials, with 38.5% boasting Canadian work or study experience.
The report indicates a significant shift, with economic immigrants accounting for 51.7% of newcomers in recent decades, up from 43.4% in the 1980s. Most economic immigrants enter through express entry programs like the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), Canadian Experience Class (CEC), or the PNP.
Earnings, Employment, and Challenges in Ontario
Those arriving with a bachelor’s degree or higher have shown a higher median wage, with CEC newcomers leading the pack with an average earning of $60,100 one year after admission. However, immigrants through the FSWP, Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP), or the PNP exhibited median wages below the national average.
As these newcomers engage with the labor force, positive strides in the participation rate are evident. However, the journey is not without hurdles. Foreign credential recognition, a formidable challenge, particularly in licensed professions like healthcare, remains a significant barrier, often resulting in underemployment. This struggle is reflected in the persistently higher unemployment rate for immigrants in Ontario compared to their non-immigrant counterparts.
Within Ontario’s occupational landscape, approximately 83% of working-age immigrants contribute to the dynamic services sector. This sector spans professional, scientific, and technical services, transportation, warehousing, and finance.
Toronto – A Preferred Settlement for Newcomers
Toronto remains the top choice for newcomers to Ontario, with 67% settling there in 2021. Impressively, Toronto boasts an 82% retention rate, far surpassing other Ontario cities. While overall settlement in Ontario has seen fluctuations, the proportion has been steadily rising, currently standing at 42.5%.