Canada needs more immigrants to tackle labour shortage as vacancies hit 1m

The cable – 25 July 2022

Canada is currently reportedly experiencing labour shortage and needs over a million vacancies to be filled.

According to a report by Statistics Canada published on Jul 20, immigrants have been the driving force behind the country’s labour supply for many years, and in the 2010s, over four-fifths of the growth in labour force came from immigration.

“Immigration has always been the driving force behind Canada’s labour supply. But with job vacancies in late 2021 80% higher than before the COVID-19 pandemic and the working age population aging, high levels of immigration will be even more critical to the labour market,” the report reads.

The report, however, noted that “a modest, sustained increase in immigration levels will not fully offset the longer-term impacts of an aging population”, but will be critical for reducing the aging effects on the labour market over time.

“After the interruption caused by the pandemic in 2020, 405,800 immigrants were admitted in 2021, the highest level in the history,” the report reads.

Meanwhile, the development comes shortly after Canada reportedly hit a record high on number of available job vacancies.

As of March 2022, more than one million vacant job positions were available to be filled as businesses begin to recover from the COVID pandemic.

“Across all sectors, Canadian employers were actively seeking to fill more than one million (1,012,900) vacant positions at the beginning of March 2022, a record high,” the reloet reads.

“Vacancies increased by 22.6% (+186,400) in the month and were up 60.5% (+382,000) from March 2021 (not seasonally adjusted).”


As contained in the June 22 report, the increase in economic principal applicants who arrived the country was a result of the expansion of provincial programmes that relied more on temporary foreign workers (TFW) and the introduction of the Canadian experience class.

It said temporary foreign workers accounted for “a rising share of the employed labour force”.

“The increased reliance on TFWs tended to improve the economic outcomes of immigrants,” the report reads.

“The labour market outcomes of recent immigrants improved substantially in the years leading up to the pandemic.

“TFWs and international students, both of whom are transitioning to permanent residency in greater numbers, have become increasingly important sources of labour supply.

“While economic outcomes of recent immigrants have improved, substantial challenges related to their skill utilization continue to persist. Addressing these challenges will be key to improving social and economic mobility among newcomers while enhancing the skills and competitiveness of our workforce.”

In February, Canada, under its Immigration Levels Plan 2022-2024, announced that it aimed to welcome 431,645 new permanent residents in 2022.

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