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Historically, immigrants have performed well in the Canadian labour market. Those arriving in the 1970s and 1980s caught up with their Canadian counterparts within ten years.
Immigrants arriving since the 1990s have not fared as well. Although they are more highly educated than previous cohorts, after 10 years in Canada, immigrant men are only earning 79.8 per cent of the average, while immigrant women are earning 87.3 percent. This is likely because four out of ten new immigrants make a downward shift in their career once they arrive in Canada.
The Conference Board of Canada has estimated that our country’s failure to recognize immigrants’ learning and learning credentials costs the economy $3.4 billion to $5 billion in lost earnings every year.
A study by RBC Economics offers additional figures: If immigrants had the same likelihood of employment at the same average income as people born in Canada, then personal income would be about $13 billion higher and there would be almost 400,000 extra workers.