Author: Joyce Pang
This is the last blog of our three-part series on RBC Economics’ recently published report “Untapped Potential: Canada needs to close its immigrant wage gap”. In the first blog, we talked about how networking can help newcomers succeed in the labour market. In the previous blog, we discussed the “untapped potential” of immigrants and what it means for Canada.
The earnings gap isn’t just a problem for newcomers, but also Canada’s economy and growth. By not utilizing its more educated and experienced immigrant workforce, the country could be losing $50 billion of GDP per year, according to RBC’s study above. This number represents the overall costs of immigrants who are not able to work in their chosen field, and those who are working in their chosen field but are not reaching wage parity. We see the opportunity to reframe the findings into an opportunity for both the private and public sector to create solutions that work for newcomers. What actions has the government taken?
Canada has actively taken steps to fill its labour gaps with skilled and educated immigrant workers through introducing the Express Entry program and expanding its pre- and post settlement services. While we’re not sure if these efforts have narrowed the wage gap, they have indeed narrowed the employment gap between immigrants and Canadian-born.
Here are more things that can be done moving forward:
- Improve tracking of immigrant’s journey through the labour market to have a deeper understanding of why immigrant wage gap continues to worsen
- Support Canadian employers to better assess foreign work and education experience, as well as other important credentials
- Consider increasing and expanding resources that help immigrants transition into the Canadian labour force upon arrival
Over the coming months, the team at Arrive will continue to explore and share stories of how to empower newcomers with meaningful career opportunities. Arrive, powered by RBC Ventures Inc, is a subsidiary of the Royal Bank of Canada: we’d like to thank the team at RBC Economics for their detailed work around exploring the untapped potential of newcomers – read the full report here.
What can you do?
As a newcomer, you can increase your chances of succeeding in the labor market through networking and building meaningful connections.
Source: Report titled Untapped Potential: Canada Needs to Close Its Immigrant Wage Gap by RBC Economics, Sep 2019