Report: High immigration targets likely to benefit western provinces
February 16, 2023
By CIC News |
A recent economic report by Desjardins shows that Canada’s increased immigration targets are likely to have a positive impact on provincial economies, particularly in the western provinces.
Since 2015, immigrants have consistently outpaced Canadian-born workers in net new positions, accounting for 70% of employment gains. In fact, by 2019, employment rates for new immigrants were higher than Canadian-born workers in nearly every province.
These gains were not strongly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. During this time, there was a surge of employment among new immigrants that helped close the gap between the unemployment rate of new immigrants and Canadian-born workers, which stood at 5.3% vs 5%, in 2022.
Considering the economic slowdown expected over the coming year, the report says there are potentially wide-ranging economic outcomes for newcomers in different parts of Canada, both during the coming downturn and in the eventual recovery. The Bank of Canada expects national GDP growth of just 1% over 2023, as opposed to the 3.6% seen throughout 2022.
Which provinces are benefitting from immigration?
The report balanced economic outcomes for individual provinces based on factors relative to the Immigration Levels Plan. For example, it made projections on the province’s economies with variations on the high targets of the immigration for the next three years, the average percentage of newcomers who settle in each province, and how immigrants integrated into the economy over various times periods including pre-pandemic and present-day.
The report shows that, if current immigration trends remain consistent, the biggest immigration-related economic gain from higher national immigration targets will occur in provinces will occur in British Columbia, the Prairie Provinces, and Prince Edward Island (PEI). PEI admits the highest number of immigrants per capita of any Canadian province.