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Earnings and Incomes of Canadians Over the Past Quarter Century, 2006 Census: Earnings

The information and communication technologies (ICT) sector played a key role for recent immigrant earners

The decline in employment in the information and communication technologies (ICT) sector between 2000 and 2005 had a large impact on the earnings of recent immigrants. The reason is that a disproportionately high share of them were trained in computer sciences and engineering.

In 2005, about 9.7% of recent immigrant men with a university diploma had a degree in computer sciences while 40.7% had a degree in engineering. The corresponding proportions among their Canadian-born counterparts were 4.3% and 13.3% only.

Between 2000 and 2005, median earnings fell 29.2% among recent immigrant men who had a degree in computer sciences. They fell 20.0% among those with a degree in engineering. However, the decline was only 10.7% among those with degrees in other fields of study, and only 5.7% among those without degrees.1

In contrast, median earnings fell only 5.3% among Canadian-born men who had a degree in computer sciences. Furthermore, they rose slightly among those with a degree in engineering, those with degrees in other fields of study and those without a university degree.

Likewise, recent immigrant men who were employed in computer and information systems occupations saw their median earnings drop by 14.5%, while those of their Canadian-born counterparts increased slightly.

Recent immigrant women employed in the aforementioned fields of study and occupations also lost ground relative to their Canadian-born counterparts.

While the earnings comparisons presented above hold after controlling for individuals' mother tongue, they do no take account of linguistic competencies and job tenure, two factors that may have affected workers' earnings growth.

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