Policy & Research

Find practical research and policy resources on immigration and employment in Canada.

Skilled Immigrants and the Labour Market

New report (May 2015): Perceptions of Employment Barriers and Solutions

Widely differing perceptions of employment barriers and solutions between newcomers and employers contribute to poor employment outcomes for skilled immigrants. The consequences of this divergence in views seem to be felt more by immigrants who arrived less than five years ago, says the new ALLIES report, Perceptions of Employment Barriers and Solutions. Researched and written by R.A. Malatest & Associates and funded by the Government of Ontario, the report offers recommendations to employers, the settlement sector, governments, and newcomers on how to improve employment outcomes for skilled immigrants.

>> Access the report page

Report: Government as Employer of Skilled Immigrants

Governments are Canada’s largest employers. Yet, immigrants are only about half as likely to work in the public sector compared to the Canadian-born population. This is despite them being a key factor in net labour force growth across the country.

>> Read the report

The results are in: Mentoring improves employment outcomes for skilled immigrants

Mentoring helps newcomers find jobs that match their skills and talent. Thanks to a new ALLIES-Accenture report, we now have the evidence to confirm the positive impact of mentoring on newcomers and our economy. (2013)

>> Read the report

Global Talent for SMEs: Building Bridges and Making Connections

Global Talent for SMEs highlights findings of a year-long study of new, innovative and promising initiatives that can help connect SMEs with the skilled immigrant labour pool. The findings draw on the input of nearly 300 SMEs from five Canadian cities, individual interviews, and an online survey conducted by the Conference Board of Canada. Earlier findings resulting from a review of policies and programs aimed at SMEs, and interviews with more than 50 stakeholders Canada-wide, were summarized in an October 2011 interim report.  English (5MB) | French (5MB). (2011/2012)

SMEs Fact Sheets

Who are the SMEs in our cities? Who are the skilled immigrants in our cities and why do they matter to SMEs? Review a statistical snapshot of a local labour market and the skilled immigrant demographic in these fact sheets:

Knocking Down Barriers Faced by New Immigrants to Canada
Immigration selection should focus on both short-term and long-term labour market needs while settlement services should be co-ordinated to boost the workforce integration of immigrants and ensure Canada’s long-term prosperity, states this TD report. (2012)

Immigrant Labour Market Outcomes in Canada: The Benefits of Addressing Wage and Employment Gaps
While Canadian immigrants have higher education levels and are more likely to live in cities where earnings tend to be higher, they experience higher unemployment rates and lower incomes than their Canadian-born counterparts, according to a report by RBC Economics. (2011)

Welcome to Canada. Now What? Unlocking the Potential of Immigrants for Business Growth and Innovation
Canadian organizations need to do a better job of recruiting and integrating skilled immigrants or risk losing them to other countries, according to a report from Deloitte. (2011)

Fulfilling the Promise: Integrating Immigrant Skills into the Canadian Economy
Maytree envisions the context, proposed approach and components of a system in which Canada values and benefits from the skills, training, education and experience of skilled immigrants by expediting labour market entry in their field of expertise. (2002)

Promising Practices for Employers

More Employers Adopt Good Immigrant Employment Practices: A Trend Analysis of the Best Employers for New Canadians
ALLIES conducted research into trends in the immigrant employment practices of the Best Employers for New Canadian winners in 2011 and 2012. This report builds on the previous analysis of winning employers in the 2008-2010 competitions.The report highlights successful practices used by employers, such as credential recognition, mentoring, professional upgrading, language training, and developing community partnerships. (2013)

Attracting, Retaining and Integrating Skilled Immigrants: An Analysis of Canada’s Leading Employers
Based on a review of applications to the Best Employers for New Canadians Award, the study highlights credential recognition, mentoring, professional upgrading, language training, and developing community partnerships among common practices used by employers. (2011)


What Does the Future Hold? Recent Changes in Canadian Immigration
Immigration policy in Canada is complex and is driven by both federal and provincial interests. In this video at the 2011 ALLIES Mentoring Conference, Naomi Alboim, a leading expert in the field and Maytree Fellow, shed light on current trends in Canadian immigration, shared insights on foreign qualification recognition, and suggested potential new directions for mentoring. (2011)

Adjusting the Balance
Canada needs a national vision for economic immigration. A strong, cohesive, long-term vision will help Canada to be competitive in attracting people with the human capital it needs for an innovative, productive and knowledge-based economy. This series provides updates and commentary on recent immigration policy developments, evaluating recent changes which relate to the recommendations presented in the paper Adjusting the Balance by Naomi Alboim. (2011)

Evaluation of the Federal Skilled Worker Program
The results are in: the Federal Skilled Worker Program works. The federal government’s 2010 evaluation of the skilled worker program showed that removing occupation-specific criteria from the point system was successful. Still, in 2010, the federal government returned to an occupation-specific model, and the skilled worker class continues to be one of the few economic classes that does not receive priority processing. Read more in Maytree’s summary. (2010)

Canada’s Immigration Score: Recommendations for a Win-Win
How do the hundreds of thousands of immigrants who arrive each year in Canada fare in the immigration process? Maytree President Ratna Omidvar examines the extent to which our immigration policy succeeds in the short, medium and long terms for both Canada and the immigrants. (Policy Options, 2010)

More Research and Reference



  • Canadian Industry Statistics – Presents and analyses industry data on a number of economic indicators using data from Statistics Canada.
  • Census of Canada – Find official statistics about immigration and citizenship, ethnic origin and visible minorities, labour, income and earnings, and more.
  • Community Profiles – Census data is conveniently grouped by community (city or region) and by province.
  • Facts and Figures – Consult Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s annual statistical publication for information about the arrival of permanent and temporary residents.
  • Key Small Business Statistics – Find statistics about small businesses from Industry Canada.