Research shows immigrants earn more in US than Canada
17 January 2011
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From 1980 to 2005, highly skilled Canadian immigrants saw their earnings drop dramatically in comparison to native-born Canadians. As of today, new male immigrants to Canada with university degrees earn about 50 percent less than their Canadian-born counterparts. However, the gap in the United States is much lower, at 30 percent.
The gap in pay worsened in the 1990s, according to the study's main author, Aneta Bonikowska. However, it is unclear as to why. Bonikowska said it was not due to recruitment strategies because engineers and other occupations in high demand flooded the labor markets of Canada and the United States at the same time. She did have a couple theories, though.
"One is that there's been a much more rapid increase in the supply of university-educated new immigrants in Canada than the U.S., so supply may be an issue," Bonikowska said. "The second is language ability."
Since 1980, Canada has been accepting a larger percentage of university-educated migrants. In 1980, twenty percent of immigrants had a university degree. By 2005, that number had risen to 55 percent. In the United States, that number grew much more slowly, with only 35 percent of immigrants having a higher education.
Canada has also seen a rise in immigration from countries in Asia, with immigrants who speak neither English nor French at home. The study suggests that these immigrants have a harder time finding higher paid jobs in the Canadian labor market.