Visa Crunch

Canada Now Has More Jobs Than It Did Before COVID-19, Says BMO Economist

According to the Bank of Montreal’s latest labour market report, there are now more jobs in Canada than before the COVID-19 pandemic, which is good news for foreign nationals considering moving here to work.

“Canadian employment rose 209k,000 in (the first quarter of 2022), continuing the strong run of job creation and leaving employment more than two per cent above pre-COVID levels,” wrote Robert Kavcic, senior economist and director of economics at the Bank of Montreal, in his Regional Labour Market Report Card.

That labour market report, released earlier this month, is titled Fully Completely Recovered, emphasising the strength of Canada’s labour market.

“All provinces saw job growth in (the first quarter of the year),” wrote Kavcic. “Jobless rates are also down sharply almost everywhere (Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland and Labrador are the exceptions), highlighting that strong conditions are largely a national, not regional, story,” noted Kavcic.

Early this year, Canada entered the sixth wave of the pandemic, with the highly transmissible Omicron variant driving up case counts to unprecedented levels, albeit frequently with milder symptoms. At the time, governments reacted with another round of public health restrictions in several provinces. Despite these constraints, employment increased dramatically.

The francophone province of Quebec has the lowest unemployment rate, at 4.1%, despite facing massive labour shortages and desperately attempting to entice foreign workers to its shores. Alberta, Canada’s oil patch, is benefiting from record-high oil prices, with job growth of 4.3% year on year. This is a new high for the province in terms of job growth.

The Top 10 Canadian Cities For Labour Market Performance in the first quarter of this year were:

  • Saskatoon;
  • Guelph;
  • St. Catharines;
  • Peterborough;
  • Regina;
  • Oshawa;
  • Victoria;
  • Sudbury;
  • Moncton, and;
  • Winnipeg

The Bottom 10 Cities in Canada Based on Labour Market Performance in the first quarter of this year were, starting with the worst:

  • Kelowna;
  • Kingston;
  • Saguenay;
  • Windsor;
  • Hamilton;
  • Brantford;
  • Saint John;
  • Trois-Rivieres;
  • Ottawa ;
  • Barrie.

The Canadian truckers’ Freedom Convoy, which clogged the city’s downtown streets from Jan. 22 to Feb. 23, was held in Ottawa, which ranked second-last in labour market performance in the first quarter of this year.

Standard traffic flow in the nation’s capital was recovered when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the contentious Emergencies Act to remove the truckers, confiscate their rigs, and freeze the bank accounts of those involved. Employers who want to hire a foreign national can do so through the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and the International Mobility Program (IMP).

Under normal circumstances, the Global Talent Stream (GTS), which is a component of the (TFWP), can result in the issuance of Canadian work permits and the processing of visa applications within two weeks. Employers can also bring in foreign nationals to fill open positions using the Express Entry system, which accepts online immigration applications.

Applicants who meet the eligibility criteria submit an online profile known as an Expression of interest (EOI) to the Express Entry Pool through one of three federal immigration programmes or a participating provincial immigration programme. The profiles of the candidates are then ranked against one another using the Comprehensive Ranking System, which is a point-based system (CRS). The highest-ranked candidates are given priority consideration for ITAs for permanent residence. Those who receive an ITA must submit a full application and payment processing fees within 90 days.

Legal Disclaimer: This article is provided for information purposes only.

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