May 2024

Spotlight on data and research

Housing international students: Housing suitability across municipalities

International students were more likely to live in unsuitable housing (i.e. a dwelling without enough bedrooms for the household members), compared with Canadian-born students but there were disparities across municipalities. This article found that the rate of unsuitable housing in 2021 was highest in Brampton, Ontario (63%), followed by Surrey, British Columbia (61%). The lowest rate was in Calgary, Alberta (25%).

Much of the variation across municipalities in the rates of unsuitable housing for international students was related to the students’ country of origin. In Brampton 91% of international student came from India, so did 79% in Surrey, compared with only 26% in Calgary. International students from India reported living in unsuitable housing at much higher rates than students from other countries in most municipalities.

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Trends in education-occupation mismatch among recent immigrants with a bachelor’s degree or higher, 2001 to 2021

Immigrants to Canada are often over educated—having more qualifications than what is typically required for a job. However, from 2016 to 2021, the rate of over-education among immigrants aged 25-64 has decreased. This article shows that, in 2021, 27% of recent immigrants with a bachelor’s degree or higher had occupations that required no more than a high school diploma. This was down from 31% in 2016.

From 2016 to 2021, the stronger demand for high-skilled workers and changes in immigrant selection reversed a fifteen-year trend of immigrants being over-educated. Even with these improvements, the percentage of immigrants with a bachelor’s degree or higher who had a high-skilled job in 2021 (44%) was lower than it was twenty years earlier (48%).

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Active presence of immigrants in Canada: Recent trends in tax filing and employment incidence

Concerns have been voiced about a potential rise in the number of immigrants leaving Canada, but a lack of national data makes it difficult to determine whether emigration rates among immigrants have increased. This article analyzes the active presence of adult immigrants since the early 1990s, using tax-filing rates and employment incidence as indicators. Active presence refers to the extent to which immigrants who were admitted to Canada during a specific period actively engage in Canadian society within a designated timeframe.

The findings reveal that for immigrants who arrived at age 20 to 54, the percentage filing income taxes in the first full year after immigration rose from 85% for the 2005-to-2009 arrival cohort to 90% for those arriving in 2020. Similarly, employment incidence in the first full year after immigration increased from 63% to 76%. Moreover, both tax-filing rates and employment incidence in the 5th and 10th years after immigration have shown steady growth since the early 1990s.

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Pathways of Black, Latin American and other population groups in bachelor’s degree programs

Black and Latin American students, followed by White students, had the lowest rates of full-time enrolment in a bachelor’s degree program compared with other population groups. This study found that 57% of Black men and 68% of Black women graduated within six years of enrollment, compared with 71% of White men and 79% of White women. Latin American students ranked higher than Black but lower than White students.

Meanwhile Chinese students ranked near the top in bachelor’s degree enrolment rates, and were the most likely to graduate with 79% of Chinese men and 86% of Chinese women graduating within six years of enrolment. They also ranked among the top in enrolment in math-intensive science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs. White students ranked low in terms of bachelor’s degree enrolment rate, including in math-intensive STEM programs, however, their graduation rates from a STEM program were among the highest. By contrast, Korean students were among the most likely to enrol in a bachelor’s degree program, but their overall graduation rates and math-intensive STEM enrolment rates were about average.

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High inflation in 2022 in Canada: Demand–pull or supply–push?

The pent-up demand following the easing of public health restrictions in early 2022, along with supply shocks from the war in Ukraine and supply chain disruptions, contributed to high inflation in 2022. This article examines the role each played in inflation in 2022. It found that the inflation on household final consumptions on goods and services averaged 5.99% in 2022, of which 54.0% was caused by the product-specific supply shock (sudden decrease in availability of goods and services), 23.7% was caused by the product-specific demand shock (unexpected change in demand), and 22.3% was related to overall demand shock.

Food and fuels are the top two contributors to high inflation in 2022, while travel services and rental fees for housing also contributed to high inflation. These top contributors are mostly essential goods and services, implying that many households may not be able to keep up with the rising costs of the essential goods and services during the high inflation period.

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Research article

Survival and growth of women-owned and immigrant-owned businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic

This study examines how the survival, closure and employment growth of women-owned (WOBs) and immigrant-owned (IOBs) compare to those of men-owned (MOBs) and Canadian-owned (COBs) businesses. Among businesses that did not use the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS), WOBs were more likely to close during the first year of the pandemic compared with MOBs, with a closure rate gap reaching 3.8 percentage points among businesses with 5 to 19 employees. In 2020, the closure rate of IOBs was higher than that of COBs among businesses that did not use the CEWS, regardless of employment size. Furthermore, in retail trade, transportation and warehousing sectors, (which are among the sectors with the largest number of IOBs) the gap in the survival rate reached 8.4 and 10.6 percentage points in favor of COBs, respectively.

Since the impact of the pandemic on businesses was disproportionate, and varied depending on the characteristics of both the businesses and their owners, this article addresses an important information gap on the impact of the pandemic on WOBs and IOBs.

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