A recent Statistics Canada report that analyzed 2006 immigrant labour market information points to Manitoba and Alberta as the provinces where newcomers most easily settle into the workforce.
Manitoba has one of the best success rates in Canada with respect to immigrants finding work. Even among very recent immigrants, newcomers in Manitoba have among the highest employment rates and lowest unemployment rates in Canada. The Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), under which over 60 per cent of immigrants come to the province, is largely responsible for these favourable employment statistics. To be eligible for most streams of the Manitoba PNP, nominees must have secured a job in the province, which allows them to integrate into the workforce more quickly. It is one of the most successful Provincial Nomination Programs in the country, accounting for 50 per cent of all provincial nominees to Canada in 2006.
With a booming economy, Alberta remains the centre of job creation in Canada. Over the past year, the province has created close to 100,000 jobs, largely in the construction, business, building, support services, and wholesale trade sectors. Alberta’s recent immigrants have benefited from the abundance of job opportunities – their unemployment rate is less than half the national average. Calgary is leading the way as the Canadian city with the highest employment rate among recent immigrants (73.6 per cent). A recent Fraser Institute survey named the province of Alberta as having North America’s best-performing labour market over the past five years, beating out 50 American states and all other Canadian provinces and territories.
Despite this success, there is still work to be done to improve immigrant labour market integration across Canada. Some newcomers are still having difficulty landing their first Canadian job because of language barriers, lack of foreign credential recognition, and lack of Canadian work experience. Soon-to-be Canadian immigrants can prepare themselves for work in Canada by researching the Canadian labour market, learning about required training programs, and enlisting the services of credential assessment organizations in Canada ahead of time. One of the most effective ways to ensure a smooth transition into the Canadian work force is to find work in Canada before landing. Securing employment ahead of time not only ensures a quick integration into the Canadian labour force, it also significantly reduces the amount of time it takes for a Permanent Residency application to be processed.
Approximately one fifth of the Canadian population was born outside the country – one of the highest proportions in the world. As Canada becomes increasingly reliant on immigration for population and labour force growth, successful immigrant labour market integration is becoming ever more crucial.