The Institut de la statistique du Québec (ISQ) doesn't put it as bluntly as the above headline, but the conclusion of a remarkable study it published is obvious: for immigrants, the Quebec labour market is much more difficult to penetrate than in other provinces.
It is based on statistics for 2009, the last full year for which data is available which compares age, gender, education level, region of origin. The document provides the most complete portrait ever published on the subject.
In Quebec, immigrants occupy 12% of total employment, representing 451,000 jobs. It
is reasonable to assume that the vast majority of these jobs are in the
Montreal area, by far the first choice of residence among newcomers.
the outset, one figure is obvious: in Quebec, the unemployment rate among
immigrants is 13.7%, compared to only 7.6% among Canadian-born workers
(the experts call these workers "natives.") This
situation is not unique: in most countries of the Organization for
Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), there are variations of
the same order.
But the rest of Canada is able to do much better.
In Ontario, the unemployment rate among immigrants is 10.7%, compared to 8.4% among the "natives." Across Canada, the corresponding figures are 10% and 7.8%.
some categories of workers, disproportions are considerable: among very
recent immigrants (arriving within the last 5 years), unemployment is
only 7.4% in Saskatchewan, compared to 22.4% in Quebec. Certainly, over time, the situation of immigrants improves. Thus,
we see that in the long-term immigrants (here for at least 10 years), the unemployment rate falls to
10.7% in Quebec, but still substantially higher than the Canadian
average of 8.3%.
these numbers tell us is that the situation in Quebec can be reasonably compared to other countries
internationally, but in a Canadian context, Quebec lags far
What can cause this?
The paper, first and foremost is dedicated to describing the situation and thus remains fairly quiet on the subject. According
to the study director, Jean-Marc-Malambwe Kilolo, the relatively strong
presence of immigrants in a host society facilitates the integration of
new entrants to the labour market. But all things considered, Quebec attracts fewer immigrants than other provinces. We see that immigrants account for 12% of employment in Quebec. In British Columbia, the proportion is close to 27%, 29% in Ontario, with a high proportion of long-term immigrants. The statistical weight of Ontario contributes greatly to raise the Canadian average to 20%.
both provinces, immigrants are obviously a critical mass, much more
important than in Quebec and this can certainly contribute, through the
multiplier effect, to facilitate access to the labour market.
We must also question the usefulness of diplomas. The unemployment rate reaches 20% among educated immigrants from Africa
(including the Maghreb countries), but falls to 16% among Asians and
only 9% among Europeans.
However, the Maghreb countries (Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia) provide many more immigrants in Quebec than across Canada.
One remarkable statistic is that when immigrants, regardless of country of origin, decide to do their training in Canada or to get a diploma in a
Canadian educational institution, the unemployment rate falls dramatically to 8.5%.
document also sheds light on the very interesting employment rate (i.e.
the proportion of people of working age who hold a job). The higher the employment rate, the better. As might be expected, the rate of immigrants holding jobs in Quebec is 53.2%, well below that of Canadian-born workers at 60.8%. The most striking difference is for young women aged 15 to 24 years. Among young immigrant women in this category, the employment rate falls to 36%, compared 60.6% among "natives" in the same age group. The
document offers no explanation on the subject, but we can ask the question:
Could this gap have anything to do with the high proportion of North
African immigrants and their attitude towards women at work?
Download the report in French
See an important note tomorrow about this post.