The labour market situation of highly skilled immigrants in Canada’s hi-tech clusters
Authors: Peter Hall
This paper examines the labour market situation of highly skilled immigrants in Canada’s hi-tech clusters. Using census customized tabulations it traces the coincident clustering of hi-tech economic activity and immigration settlement in Canada’s largest cities. It is thus not surprising that we find the largest concentrations of immigrants employed in the hi-tech sector within a small group of large cities. Over the 1990s, earnings of immigrants declined relative to those of the native-born working in the hi-tech sector. This trend was most pronounced in the largest cities. Using confidential Census micro-data to control for demographic and human capital characteristics, we find that hi-tech immigrants in Toronto do relatively worse than hi-tech immigrants employed elsewhere. The paper then focuses on the employment experiences of newly arrived immigrants to Canada, using a sample survey of immigrants interviewed six months after arrival. Immigrants with more education are less likely to be employed shortly after arrival than those with less education. This finding is consistent with the notion that immigrants face challenges in having their qualifications recognized by employers. We also find that certain forms of previous work experience, especially pre-immigration Canadian work experience and hi-tech experience (obtained anywhere), is rewarded with increased likelihood of employment. At the same time, hi-tech employers are more likely than others to recognize and reward foreign education and pre-immigration hi-tech work experience.
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Peter Hall (2006).
The labour market situation of highly skilled immigrants in Canada's hi-tech clusters
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