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Will Rising Employment Performance in Québec Benefit Immigrants?

canada program | new brunswick | succession connect | Immigration to Quebec | Canada Immigrant Employment |
October 27, 2016

According to the September report from Statistics Canada, Québec has out-performed all other Canadian provinces in adding tens of thousands of jobs to the labor force—a number that has contributed to over 18 million people working throughout the country. By comparison to provinces and territories such as British Columbia and the Northwest Territories, which saw marginal decreases of -600 and -500 jobs respectively, Québec’s employment industry experienced a substantial increase of approximately 38,000, with the unemployment rate placing at 6.9 percent, making it the lowest figure for Québec in eight years. In relation to Canadian provinces as a whole, the last month of the third quarter saw an increase of 67,000 new jobs created, holding the overall unemployment rate at a steady 7 percent.

Labor Force Statistics for Canadian Provinces/Territories:

Province/Territories Jobs (+/-) Unemployment Rate (%)
Québec 38,300 6.9
British Columbia -600 5.7
Ontario 16,200 6.6
Northwest Territories -500 6.6
New Brunswick 4,400 9.3

While these numbers are certainly a positive change for Québec’s employment industry in general, they still represent contrasting perspectives in public and private sectors throughout Canadian provinces: public employment areas such as transporting and warehousing experienced a minimal increase of less than 9,000 for September, whereas self-employment fields (e.g. professional, technical, and scientific jobs) witnessed a boom of 50,000 for the same month. Although Statistics Canada noted there were nominal changes in public and private sectors for September, the big winner for the total year was reported in the private sector, with its most significant employment gain standing at approximately 106,000 people.

How will Québec’s falling unemployment rate affect immigrants?

For individuals and families seeking immigration to Québec, these numbers appear more than optimistic. Yet despite Québec’s sizeable gains in Canada’s employment industry, job prospects for immigrants remain a work in progress for Provincial Immigration Minister Kathleen Weil. Although there has been a recent turnaround in rising employment rates for Québec, local supporters of immigration see the newcomers as a vital long-term solution for the ageing Canadian labor force.

For immigration advocates like Weil, maintaining economic stability is a situation that relies on the contributions of foreign nationals. As Weil states, “[many] European countries and the U.S. are interesting [places] to potential immigrants and we want to do as well, or better, than our competitors.” Conceding that foreign immigration to Canada is vital for Québec’s economic livelihood, Weil’s five-year immigration plan will be put into action from 2016 to 2021. Its strategies focus on better integration, such as providing housing options, increased education in French, and guidance for new arrivals through community partnerships. These strategies are part and parcel to Weil’s objectives of bringing in just over 52,000 immigrants to Québec by 2019. By 2022, Weil projects Québec’s economy will require 1.4 million new workers, with 18 percent of that figure consisting of immigrants.

To accomplish these goals, Weil has made it clear that it is crucial for businesses in Québec to adopt the new immigration strategies implemented by the Canadian government. Much like New Brunswick’s pilot program Succession Connect, Québec aims to generate immigration to Canada based upon the needs of businesses on provincial and local levels, where employers can match applicant profiles to available jobs. With Québec’s working population steadily nearing retirement age, the demand for young skilled workers has become a competitive field for world-wide recruiters and willing “blue-chip” candidates looking for brighter futures abroad.

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