Since skills-assessed economic immigrants have had consistently higher earnings than other classes of immigrants, the government of Canada should work to reverse the decline in the number of immigrants admitted into the skilled worker category, according to a new study published by the Institute for Research on Public Policy (IRPP).
“Canada cannot afford to be complacent in seeking to attract and retain skilled workers,” said the report.
In Do Admission Criteria and Economic Recessions Affect Immigrant Earnings? the authors examine the annual earnings outcomes in the first decade of four categories of immigrants — skills-assessed economic immigrants, other economic immigrants, family class immigrants and refugees — who arrived as permanent residents in 1982, 1988 and 1994.
Immigrants entering under the Federal Skilled Worker program had the highest median annual earnings among the four categories in all three arrival groups, found the report. The median earnings of this group exceed the earnings of other groups by as much as 56 per cent, in some cases.
While refugees initially had low earnings, over their first 10 years in Canada male and female refugees in all three arrival groups consistently had the highest earnings growth rates. The authors recommend that the level of refugee immigration should be restored to the levels of the past 30 years — around 10 to 15 per cent of annual permanent resident immigration.
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