Canada entered 2013 with a strong economic performance. In contrast to the financial woes of many countries, the Canadian economy has seen growth in a number of sectors, with thousands of jobs added in recent months.
Immigration to Canada is expected to play a key part in expanding the country’s population and financial wealth for years to come. In an effort to ensure continued growth, the Canadian government has set out proactive immigration policies that will attract the worlds best and brightest to its shores.
The Job Market in 2013
2012 saw a continued trend of job creation, one that has been constant since the 2008-2009 recession. During this year, 312,000 Canadian jobs were created. These jobs were predominantly in the private sector, in fields such as education, finance, insurance, construction, manufacturing, and health care.
Job growth in December 2012 was particularly high. Instead of a predicted loss of 5,000 jobs nationwide, the country actually created a staggering 40,000 positions. The majority of these jobs were in the transportation/warehousing and construction sectors. Thanks to this spike in jobs, Canada’s unemployment rate is now standing at a four-year low.
Employment Prospects for Foreign Nationals
Canada’s upward trend of economic growth and job creation are good news for those looking to live and work in the country. In total, Canada welcomes almost half a million temporary and permanent residents each year. In 2013, an expected total of up to 260,000 permanent resident visas will be issued, with 158,000 of these coming from economic immigration streams. In addition, more than 180,000 temporary foreign workers from around the world will arrive to work across the country.
While workers from all sectors are needed in Canada, certain fields are in particular need of employees. At present, the most notable labour market shortages can be found in the realms of construction and natural resource management. Employers have already taken their search for workers internationally, recruiting in countries such as Ireland, Portugal, and the UK.
Immigration and its Economic Impact
Canadian Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney believes that immigrants are one of the most important elements of Canada’s economic success, and that they will remain so in the future.
“Our government’s number one priority remains economic and job growth,” said Mr. Kenney in October 2012. “Newcomers bring their skills and talents, contribute to our economy and help renew our workforce so that Canada remains competitive on the world stage.”
Immigration Attorney David Cohen agrees. “I have had the pleasure to help thousands of individuals come to Canada through a variety of programs,” he says. “Their presence in Canada is a win-win. Our country is strengthened by their contributions to its economy and society, and in return they are able to realize their personal and professional goals.”
To help bring in newcomers who will quickly and easily find employment in Canada, a number of immigration reforms have been made to popular economic programs. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
The Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) – The FSWP points system has been adjusted to better suit Canada’s labour market needs. Language skills, integral to finding gainful employment in the country, have been emphasised. Foreign educational credentials, which can at times be confusing to Canadian employers, must now be assessed, authenticated, and given equivalent value in Canada.
This program is scheduled to begin receiving applications on May 4th, 2013.
Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC) – This new program opened its doors on January 2nd, 2013. It has been created to directly address Canada’s acute need for trade professionals in a number of fields. A total of 3,000 applications will be accepted for review in 2013 in order to ensure speedy processing times.
Canadian Experience Class (CEC) – Minister Kenney has repeatedly underscored this program’s value to the Canadian economy. Successful applicants through this program have studied and/or worked in Canada, meaning that they are already well poised for success in the labour market. Applicants may now become eligible after only 12 months of full-time paid work experience, reduced from a previous requirement of 24 months.
All statistics acquired from Statistics Canada and Citizenship and Immigration Canada.
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