Labour market conditions improved for both recent immigrant men and women in the core working-age group in 2006 compared to 2001. Despite this, recent immigrants continued to have lower employment rates and higher unemployment rates than the Canadian born.
Employment rates among recent immigrant men and their Canadian-born counterparts were closer in 2006 than they had been five years earlier. About 78.6% of recent male immigrants aged 25 to 54 were employed in 2006, up 4.1 percentage points from 2001. During the same period, the employment rate of Canadian-born men rose by only 0.6 percentage points, from 85.7% to 86.3% in 2006.
Similarly, the unemployment rate of recent immigrant men declined nearly twice as much as it did for Canadian-born men. The rate for immigrant men fell from 11.4% in 2001 to 9.3% in 2006; the rate among Canadian-born men fell by 1.1 percentage points, from 6.3% to 5.2%.
Recent immigrant women also narrowed the gap with their Canadian-born counterparts. Their employment rate rose 3.6 percentage points from 53.2% to 56.8% between 2001 and 2006. This was greater than the increase experienced by Canadian-born women, whose employment rate rose from 76.3% to 78.5%.
Similarly, recent immigrant women saw a larger decline in their unemployment rate. Theirs slipped from 15.7% in 2001 to 14.3% in 2006, while the rate for Canadian-born women fell from 5.7% to 5.0%.
More analysis to come
In the future, Statistics Canada will conduct an analysis on how recent immigrants have integrated into the labour force, especially in comparison with their counterparts who arrived in earlier decades, and examine how well their educational attainment and fields of study correspond with their labour force experience.
Look for these analytical documents in various Statistics Canada publications later this year.