Mohanad Moetaz - 09 February, 2021
Immigrant wages were increasing prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a recent Statistics Canada report.
Immigrants were seeing an increase in the median entry-level wages, as the gap between Canadian and immigrant wages continued to shrink in 2018.
The median entry wage was $30,100 in 2018 for immigrants who came to Canada just one year prior. For context, the median entry wage for immigrants in 2017 was $26,500. For Canadians, this number was $37,400.
However, it is important to mention that for certain groups, the entry wage was higher than for Canadians. For example, the median wage of holders of both a study permit and a work permit was $44,000. Holders of a work permit only had a median entry wage of $39,100.
In addition, immigrants with high language proficiency in English or French, those with prior work experience recorded a higher median entry wage than Canadians.
The reason behind the increasing wages may be down to immigrants having experience prior to admission. More immigrants who came to Canada in 2017 had work or study experience compared with previous years.
The report detailed that pre-admission experience helps immigrants settle more quickly in Canada, as it helps them gain language experience as well as knowledge of the job market.
Outcomes of immigrants were different depending on what country they came from. Those born in Brazil, the U.K. and the U.S. had the highest median wages after 10 years. Those from Algeria, Egypt and Iran had the highest increases in median wage over the same period.
After five years of landing in Canada, around 87 per cent of immigrants who had worked before applying for permanent residence, remained in their province of admission. Ontario had the highest provincial retention rate, followed by Alberta and B.C.