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Study: The migration of infrastructure tradespersons, 2006 to 2011

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Released: 2014-06-05

In 2011, "infrastructure tradespersons" aged 25 to 44 were no more likely to have migrated from another province or region than those who had other types of postsecondary credentials.

Infrastructure tradespersons are defined as those who had a certification in trades and whose major field of study was in construction trades, mechanics and repair, precision production, or heavy equipment machinery and crane operation. There were 576,000 infrastructure tradespersons in 2011, accounting for 7% of the population aged 25 to 44.

In 2011, 13% of infrastructure tradespersons had lived in a different location five years earlier. Of these migrants, 9% had migrated from a different region within the same province, while 4% had migrated from another province.

In comparison, 16% of university graduates aged 25 to 44 in 2011 lived in a different location five years earlier. Specifically, 9% lived in a different region within the same province while 7% lived in a different province.

All other educational groups, including other types of trades, other college or CEGEP certificates or diplomas as well as other diplomas below bachelor, had migration rates ranging from 11% to 13%.

Alberta was the lead destination for infrastructure tradespersons who changed provinces or territories between 2006 and 2011. About half of interprovincial migrants who did not live in Alberta in 2006 migrated to this province. This amounted to an influx of more than 8,500 infrastructure tradespersons for Alberta.

However, for every 100 infrastructure tradespersons who moved to Alberta between 2006 and 2011, 84 left the province.

As a result, Alberta had both the largest volumes of entry and exit of infrastructure tradespersons between 2006 and 2011. Of those who left Alberta during the period, about 60% returned to their province of birth.

  Note to readers

As there may be regional variations in the demand for tradespersons, examining the migration patterns of those with a certification in infrastructure trades is important.

In this release, data from the 2011 National Household Survey are used to examine the migration patterns of individuals who were aged 25 to 44 in 2011 and who were residents of Canada in 2006 and 2011. Migration refers to those who lived in a region located at least 30 km away from their location of residence in 2006. Individuals who reported a change of address within the same census metropolitan area (CMA) or census agglomeration (CA) were considered as non-migrants (including CMAs and CAs located on both sides of a provincial border).

The article "The migration of infrastructure tradespersons" is now available online in the most recent edition of Insights on Canadian Society (Catalogue number75-006-X) from the Browse by key resource module of our website under Publications.

Contact information

For more information, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300;

To enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, or for more information on Insights on Canadian Society, contact Sébastien LaRochelle-Côté (613-951-0803;, Labour Statistics Division.

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