COVID-19 and labour market outcomes for recent immigrants

Recessions tend to disproportionately impact marginalized workers, including recent immigrants. New research from Statistics Canada shows that this has also been true of the COVID-19 recession.

Researchers looked at labour market outcomes during the pandemic for people aged 20 to 44 who had immigrated  to Canada within the past five years. They found that the economic fallout was highest for women who had recently immigrated. By May 2020, the unemployment rate for recent immigrant women was 22 per cent, compared to 14 per cent for men who had recently immigrated and 12 per cent for Canadian-born women. This is partly because the recently immigrated women tended to be employed in low-wage service sector jobs and were less likely to have the protection of a union.

Although the unemployment gap between recent immigrant women and other workers had largely disappeared a year into the pandemic, previous recessions suggest there may still be long-term negative impacts for workers who experienced long-duration unemployment, including lower wages in the future and an increased risk of unemployment.

Census data sheds light on population growth

The first release of data from the most recent census tells us a lot about which municipalities are growing and which are not.

Overall, Canada’s population increased by five per cent between 2016 and 2021. The fastest growing municipalities are located near major urban centres.

The new census data will help municipalities meet their communities’ needs when planning emergency services, schools, hospitals, and other infrastructure requirements.

Future census releases will flesh out additional socio-demographic information that is important for municipal planning, including statistics on age, language, housing, race, and economic inequality.