How Immigrants Affect the Economy: Weighing the Benefits and Costs
The Globe and Mail
May 10, 2012
What's clear, though, is that immigrants recently have tended to earn less than the general population.
In the late 1970s, immigrants earned about 85 to 90 per cent of what the Canadian-born earned. By 2006 that figure had fallen closer to 60 per cent, according to a recent study from the Institute for Research on Public Policy. Although employment rates tend to catch up within five to 10 years, it's taking longer and longer for wages to match.
To change those ratios would require, at minimum, greater upfront spending on matching immigration to the country's needs, and in settlement assistance. Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney's current reforms have yet to call for additional investment in selection or settlement.
Many immigrants also send money to family in their native country, removing a portion of their income and spending power from the Canadian economy. A Statistics Canada study found that about 30 per cent of immigrants sent money home in the first two to four years after their arrival in Canada, at an average of about $1,450 per year.
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