Temporary foreign workers welcomed by Canadians: survey

Most want TFWs to fill job openings that can’t be filled by Canadians

Temporary foreign workers welcomed by Canadians: survey

Canadians see the value of temporary foreign workers (TFWs), and they support these people coming to the country, according to a recent Nanos report.

A majority of workers believe that TFWs are important (48 per cent) or somewhat important (34 per cent) to the Canadian economy, based on the survey of over 1,000 Canadians, conducted between Dec. 27 and 29, 2023.

Most support these workers’ endeavours in the country:



Somewhat support

Having employers bring temporary foreign

workers to Canada to help fill jobs they can’t find

Canadians to do

49 per cent

30 per cent

Having interested temporary foreign workers

remain in Canada to become citizens or permanent


32 per cent

37 per cent

Allowing temporary foreign workers who are

brought to Canada for a specific job to change


31 per cent

28 per cent

Having more temporary foreign workers coming to

Canada for jobs

22 per cent

35 per cent


The Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program allows Canadian employers to hire foreign workers to fill temporary jobs when qualified Canadians are not available, according to the federal government.

And Canadian employers seemed to have turned their focus to hiring foreign workers in the past year. The number of employers applying for the Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) in the country surged by 84.03 per cent year-over-year by Nov. 5, 2023, according to a CBC report, citing data from Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).

And in October 2023, after launching the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) Program Workforce Solutions Road Map in 2022, announced extended measures that will be in place until Aug. 30, 2024.

Job seekers from outside Canada have shown far greater interest in coming to work in the country, according to a previous Indeed report.

Modern initiatives for TFWP

Amid the current situation, Ottawa is working on a number of modernization initiatives under the TFWP to speed up the processing of LMIA applications.

For example, files are now being distributed across the entire national network, which allows applications from high-demand provinces to be processed elsewhere, said Maja Stefanovska, a spokesperson for Employment and Social Development Canada, in a CBC report.

The growing population of TFWs has enhanced their role in Canada’s overall workforce, according to Yuqian Lu and Feng Hou, with the Social Analysis and Modelling Division, Analytical Studies and Modelling Branch, at Statistics Canada.

“In 2010, TFWs accounted for 2.0 per cent of all T4 earners in the country, and this proportion increased to 4.3 per cent in 2019 and to 4.4 per cent in 2020,” they say. “The role of TFWs varied across industrial sectors, depending on the number of TFWs in relation to the total workforce within each sector.”

However, TFWs in Canada have shifted to working in low-paying jobs in the country in the previous decade, according to StatCan.

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