Viewpoints research conducted in 2002 by the CLBC taps the attitudes of nearly 1,200 managers and labour leaders in the public and private sectors. This article by Senior Researcher Clarence Lochhead explores views on immigration levels, the rising perception of skill shortages and barriers associated with hiring foreign trained workers.
Canada’s reliance on immigration for labour force growth is up sharply from the 1980s, and in coming decades is expected to account for all of the country’s net labour force growth. In Ontario, which each year receives the majority of Canada’s new immigrants, virtually all growth in the labour force during the 1990s (97%) resulted from new immigrants. In other provinces such as Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia, which receive proportionately fewer new immigrants, labour force growth was entirely due to immigration.
Findings suggest a “disconnect” between the issues of immigration levels and skill shortages. The latter issue ranked among the top 10 issues of serious concern among both managers and labour leaders. 57% of public sector managers said skill shortages were a serious problem, but only 14% felt “too low immigration levels” were a serious problem.