GTA’s highly skilled immigrants continue to face underemployment, report finds

CBJ Newsmakers

(Toronto, Ontario), Nov. 26, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Newcomers’ ability to find skills-commensurate employment has improved, however, the challenge of underemployment continues to persist and threatens the progress being made, according to a new report published by the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC).

Fewer newcomer men are getting to the top of the pay scale compared to men born in Canada. Women newcomers only earn on average half that of their Canadian-born counterparts. Furthermore, the gap between the respective unemployment rates of newcomers with a Bachelor’s degree and people born in Canada has narrowed, but it’s still twice that of the rate for people born the country.

The report by TRIEC, The State of Immigrant Inclusion 2018, explores key issues in immigration and employment and examines what’s changed – or remained the same – in the Greater Toronto Area over the past 15 years. Through original research, interviews, and a survey of over 200 GTA employers, employment service providers, and individuals, the report looks at labour market trends, key barriers to immigrant employment, and inclusive practices implemented by employers for immigrant success.

“Our ability to benefit from the contributions of immigrant professionals depends on their full economic integration. Yet what we find in the report is that this integration is still far from certain,” said Margaret Eaton, Executive Director of TRIEC. “There’s been tremendous progress over the past 15 years, but there are areas where we still need to press for change.”

The report also reveals:

  • Underemployment has a long-lasting impact: Due to underemployment at the start of an immigrant’s working life, it can take up to decades for them to catch up with their Canadian-born counterparts.
  • Immigrants with a Canadian degree are doing better than those without: GTA newcomers who gained a Bachelor’s degree or higher in Canada are more likely to be working in a job that requires a degree. Newcomer women in the GTA who gained their degree outside Canada in a non-STEM subject are the least likely to be working in a job that requires a degree.
  • Employers make a difference: Employers have an important role to play in addressing underemployment and unlocking the hidden potential of all immigrant groups.
  • Employers positively benefit from highly skilled immigrants: Employers who have a focus on hiring highly-skilled immigrants are much more likely to appreciate the benefits.

The timing of the publication of the report marks TRIEC’s 15th year anniversary and will be officially released to the public this morning at the ‘Immigrant Inclusion Summit’ hosted by TRIEC at the YWCA Toronto at 87 Elm Street, Toronto, Ontario.

The launch event will be attended by employers, community agencies, leaders of major professional immigrant associations, and government officials. Items on the agenda include a keynote presentation on the report by two of the consultants who led on the research, a ceremony for recipients of TRIEC’s inaugural Leadership in Immigrant Inclusion Awards, and networking opportunities between employers and newcomers.

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About TRIEC

Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC) champions the talent and experience that immigrants bring to the Greater Toronto Area. We support organizations to become more inclusive, and help newcomers expand their professional networks and understand the local labour market. We collaborate with leaders and organizations to build a GTA where immigrant professionals can contribute to their fullest potential.

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CONTACT: Daniel Kim, Media Relations Lead
Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC)
416-931-5803
dkim@triec.ca
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