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Economic and Social Reports, May 2023

Released: 2023-05-24

The May 2023 issue of Economic and Social Reports, which contains three articles, is now available.

Highly educated unemployed Canadians outnumber available jobs requiring high education

The increase in the number of job vacancies observed in Canada over the last few years has attracted considerable attention. The article "Unemployment and job vacancies by education, 2016 to 2022" provides new insights on this issue by comparing the number of job vacancies requiring a given education level with the number of unemployed individuals with such education. Since 2016, the number of unemployed Canadians with a bachelor's degree or higher education has always exceeded the number of vacant positions that require a bachelor's degree or higher education. In contrast, the number of job vacancies requiring a high school diploma or less education has exceeded the number of unemployed individuals with such education since the third quarter of 2021.

Do university-educated immigrants recover economically from a slow start?

Highly educated immigrants are generally expected to have better economic outcomes than less educated immigrants. However, about one-third of principal applicants in the economic class who held a bachelor's degree or higher had no or low earnings during the first two years after arriving in Canada. The article "Do university-educated immigrants recover economically from a slow start?" examined whether these immigrants would outperform less educated immigrants and eventually catch up with similarly educated immigrants who have early economic success.

It found that this group of immigrants earned less than their counterparts with a high school education or less in the third year after immigration, although this earnings gap was eliminated by the seventh or eighth year after immigration. Large earnings gaps between the initially less and the initially more successful university-educated immigrants narrowed with more years spent in Canada. Nonetheless, these gaps persisted 20 years after immigration. Less than one-quarter of the earnings gaps between the initially less and the initially more successful university-educated immigrants could be attributed to group differences in key sociodemographic factors, including sex, age at immigration, official language knowledge, pre-immigration Canadian earnings and Canadian study experience, and source region.

Economic well-being during retirement years has improved over time

The article "A cross-cohort comparison of economic well-being during retirement years" follows several cohorts of individuals as they age from their mid-50s to their late 70s in order to compare how recent retirees fared relative to earlier cohorts. It found that recent cohorts of retirees had higher family income during retirement than earlier cohorts. Furthermore, the income they received during retirement was closer to their pre-retirement income, thereby suggesting that they were able to maintain their living standards to a greater extent than earlier cohorts.

However, living standards varied across incomes quintiles. Registered pension plans (RPP) and Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSP) were increasingly important sources of retirement income for the top income quintile. For retired women in the middle quintile, cross-cohort income growth was mainly driven by increases in RPPs and RRSPs, while for men, it was a combination of RPPs and RRSPs, as well as wages. In the bottom quintile, women and men aged 54 to 56 years saw their family incomes decrease slightly across cohorts, but by the time they became aged 65 to 80 years, their incomes had either remained similar across cohorts or increased (in the case of men). Old Age Security (OAS) and the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) played a key role in keeping the income of retired women stable across cohorts. OAS and the GIS, combined with an increase in wages, helped the income of retired men in the bottom quintile grow.

Products

The May 2023 issue of Economic and Social Reports, Vol. 3, no. 5 (Catalogue number36280001) is now available. This issue contains the articles "Unemployment and job vacancies by education, 2016 to 2022," "A cross-cohort comparison of economic well-being during retirement years" and "Do university-educated immigrants recover economically from a slow start?."

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; infostats@statcan.gc.ca) or Media Relations (statcan.mediahotline-ligneinfomedias.statcan@statcan.gc.ca).

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