Employment rates, by educational attainment and immigrant status

Recent immigrants were highly educated

  • The education level of Canadians has been rising over the past several decades. Immigration policies since the 1990s, which have placed greater emphasis on education, partially explain the even more marked increase in the educational attainment observed among recent arrivals. In 2007, 54% of immigrants aged 25 to 54 who landed from 2002 to 2007 held at least a bachelor's degree, compared with 50% of those who landed from 1997 to 2002, and 28% of those who landed prior to 1997. Among people born in Canada, 22% held at least a bachelor's degree in 2007.

  • The employment rate within a group generally rises with educational attainment. This pattern was evident among recent immigrants aged 25 to 54 years who landed in Canada from 2002 to 2007. In 2007, the employment rate was 45.1% among recent immigrants reporting less than a high school diploma, compared with 67.3% for those with a university degree. However, regardless of the highest level of educational attainment, the employment rate gap between recent immigrants and native-born Canadians was sizable, ranging from 19 percentage points for those with a high school diploma (with or without some postsecondary), to 23 points among those with a university degree.

  • In 2007, more than half (52.5%) of university-educated immigrants who landed from 2002 to 2007 had received their degree in Asia, followed distantly by Europe (19.2%), then Canada, Africa, Latin America and the United States. The employment rates of recent immigrants educated in any of these regions, especially those educated in Africa, were much lower than that of people born in Canada and holding a degree.

Chart N.5
Employment rates of 25- to 54-year-olds, by highest level of educational attainment and immigrant status, 2007

Chart N.5 Employment rates of 25- to 54-year-olds, by highest level of educational attainment and immigrant status, 2007

Source: Statistics Canada, Labour Force Survey, 2007.

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