Upon arrival in Canada, immigrants experience a “transition penalty”: a period of adjustment as they establish themselves in a new country. Senior CLBC Researcher Clarence Lochhead has found disturbing evidence this period of transition has lengthened over the past twenty years.
Recent immigrants, those living in Canada for less than five years, had in 2001 an unemployment rate of 12.7% according to census data, compared to a much lower rate of 7.1% in 1981. (Unemployment rates among Canadian-born were 7.9% in 1981 and 7.4% in 2001.)
It now takes more than 10 years in Canada before unemployment rates for Canadian-born and immigrant populations become comparable. This growing transition penalty undermines Canada’s capacity to fully benefit from this much-needed source of skilled workers.