If an immigrant has already worked or studied in Canada, they are more likely to earn more money after they arrive. According to recent research detailing the wages of Canadian immigrants in 2019, this is the case.
The typical entry wage for newcomers who had previously been in Canada on study or work permits was $44,600, compared to $25,700 for those who had no prior Canadian experience. When it came to median entrance earnings, these newcomers earned $5,800, over 15% more than their Canadian counterparts.
“Pre-admission experience in Canada, particularly work-related, plays an important role in lifting immigrants’ wages,” stated the Statistics Canada study released on December 7. “It provides a pathway for immigrants to acquire language skills and knowledge of the Canadian labour market.”
One year after admission, immigrants with only prior work permits earned a median entry income of $39,300, while those with just study permits earned a much lower median wage of $15,100. In general, immigrant wages are rising.
From 2010 to 2019, median salaries increased for both men and women across all immigrant categories. From $32,500 in 2010 to $62,300 in 2019, the yearly median wage for male immigrants increased by 10.2% annually.
While their female counterparts’ median salary nearly doubled as well, the increase was just $20,400, from $24,500 to $44,900 during the same time period, a 9.3% annual increase rate. As per the survey, those who became permanent residents in 2018 earned the highest median entrance pay among immigrants to Canada in four decades.
The 2018 cohort earned a median annual income of $31,900 after obtaining permanent residence in Canada, up 4.2 per cent or $1,300 over the immigrants who arrived in 2017 after their first year.
Researchers examined newcomers’ entry wages by immigration class — economic, family reunification, and refugee — as well as their past studies and employment experience in Canada, using the 2020 longitudinal immigration database.
Accordingly, immigrants admitted as principal applicants under the economic categories in 2018 earned $43,600 in 2019, which was 12.4% higher than their Canadian counterparts ($38,800) and 3.8 per cent higher than those admitted in 2017 ($42,000). Their dependents were paid $27,600, which was 7% more than their counterparts accepted in 2017 ($25,800).
Although the median entry wage for refugees ($19,200) was the least among permanent residents accepted in 2018, it was nevertheless 2.7 per cent higher than the median entry wage for refugees admitted a year ago ($18,700).
The median entrance wage for family-sponsored immigrants accepted in 2017 and 2018 remained unchanged at $24,500. The research, which is the first of a two-part series on immigrants’ earnings, is intended to serve as a baseline for measuring the impact of the COVID-19 pandemics on newcomers once data for individuals admitted to Canada in 2019 and later becomes available.