Section 4
Employment outcome #1 – Education-job skills match

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The successful integration of immigrants in the Canadian labour market is of interest to the Canadian public and to current and potential immigrants, alike. Achieving Canada's full economic potential requires that immigrants are able to use their skills and experience in the Canadian labour market.

As mentioned in the previous section, only paid workers aged 25 to 64 not attending school in 2006 who reported a postsecondary credential in a field of study that would normally lead to work in one of the targeted occupations identified by the FCR Program at HRSDC are analysed throughout this report. For simplicity in the text, they will be labelled as 'paid workers' or 'full-time full-year paid workers,' depending on the employment outcome being discussed.

4.1 Profile of internationally-educated immigrant paid workers

As a starting point in understanding the integration of internationally-educated immigrant paid workers in the Canadian labour market, it is important to learn more about the size and characteristics of this population compared to those who completed their education in Canada and the Canadian-born paid workers with a postsecondary education.

Socio-demographic characteristics

One in two internationally-educated immigrant paid workers reported being established in the country for more than ten years

In 2006, about 617,900 internationally-educated immigrant paid workers aged 25 to 64 not attending school reported having a postsecondary credential in a field of study that would normally lead to work in one of the targeted occupations identified by the FCR Program at HRSDC. As shown in Table 4.1, the largest share of these internationally-educated immigrants (50%) reported being established in the country for more than ten years (i.e., established immigrants), followed by very-recent immigrants, at 27%, and recent immigrants, at 22%.

Table 4.1 Socio-demographic characteristics of paid workers aged 25 to 64 with a postsecondary education by immigrant status, location of study and period of landing, Canada, 2006

A larger proportion of men than women were found among internationally-educated immigrant paid workers

While no difference was observed between the proportion of men and women among Canadian-born paid workers aged 25 to 64 in 2006, a larger proportion of men than women was found among the immigrant paid workers' population: 57% vs. 43% for immigrants educated abroad and 54% vs. 46% for those educated in Canada (Table 4.1).

More than six in ten internationally-educated immigrant paid workers were in the prime-working age group of 35 to 54

As shown in Table 4.1, a larger proportion of internationally-educated immigrant paid workers (65%) were in the prime-working age group of 35 to 54 in 2006 compared to their Canadian-educated counterparts (59%) and the Canadian-born with a postsecondary education (61%). The remaining 35% were distributed between 55 to 64 year-olds (20%) and 25 to 34 year-olds (15%). At 83%, internationally-educated immigrant paid workers were also more likely than Canadian-educated immigrants (69%) and the Canadian-born (69%) to be married or living in a common-law relationship.

Educational characteristics

Internationally-educated immigrant paid workers are highly-educated

Internationally-educated immigrant paid workers in the core working-age group of 25 to 64 are highly-educated. In fact, as shown by the 2006 Census, about seven in ten internationally-educated immigrant paid workers reported having completed a university education. This is substantially more than what was observed for their Canadian-educated counterparts (50%) or for the Canadian-born with a postsecondary education (40%) (Table 4.2).

Table 4.2 Education characteristics of paid workers aged 25 to 64 with a postsecondary education by immigrant status, location of study and period of landing, Canada, 2006

Higher proportion of university degree-holders among internationally-educated immigrant paid workers established in the country for less than ten years

This high proportion of internationally-educated immigrant paid workers with a university degree is mostly attributable to very-recent and recent immigrants, at 84% and 80%, respectively. Although at a lower proportion (59%), internationally-educated immigrant paid workers established in Canada for a longer period were also more likely than their Canadian-educated counterparts or Canadian-born paid workers with a postsecondary education to report having completed a university degree. Furthermore, at 30%, internationally-educated immigrant paid workers were much less likely than their Canadian-educated counterparts (50%) and Canadian-born paid workers with a postsecondary education (60%) to have college or trades credentials as their highest level of postsecondary education (Table 4.2). In part, that reflects the fact that in Canada, the college sector is highly developed, whereas most other countries do not offer credentials at the college level.

High proportion of postsecondary credentials from regions in Asia

Not surprisingly, the top regions from which very-recent and recent internationally-educated immigrant paid workers received their highest level of education were very similar to the regions from which these individuals immigrated: Eastern Asia, Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, Southern Asia and Northern Europe (see Appendix 1 for the list of countries corresponding to these regions of study) (Table 4.2).

Four in ten internationally-educated immigrant paid workers reported postsecondary credentials leading to occupations in natural and applied science

At 41%, the largest share of these internationally-educated immigrant paid workers were found in instructional programs leading to occupations in natural and applied sciences such as engineers, engineering technicians and architects, followed by those leading to occupations in business, finance and administration (23%), occupations in social science, education, government service and religion (13%) and in health occupations (10%). About 7% reported postsecondary credentials leading to trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations, while the remaining 6% were distributed almost evenly between occupations in art, culture, recreation and sport (3%) and those related to sales and service (3%) (Table 4.2).

Province, territory and area of residence

The large majority of internationally-educated immigrant paid workers reported living in the three most populated provinces

The large majority (86%) of internationally-educated immigrant paid workers reported living in the three most populated provinces of Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec. As shown in Table 4.3, Ontario alone received more than half of these immigrants (57%), followed by British Columbia (18%) and Quebec (12%). At 10%, Alberta ranked fourth in terms of the share of internationally-educated immigrant paid workers aged 25 to 64 who reported a credential leading to one of the targeted occupations. The Atlantic Provinces, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and the territories, on the other hand, each received 2% or less of these internationally-educated immigrant paid workers.

Table 4.3 Province, territory and area of residence of paid workers aged 25 to 64 with a postsecondary education by immigrant status, location of study and period of landing, Canada, 2006

More than nine in ten internationally-educated immigrant paid workers reported living in population centres

Similar to their Canadian-educated counterparts (at 94%), the vast majority (96%) of internationally-educated immigrant paid workers in the core working-age group of 25 to 64 reported living in population centres (i.e., areas with a population of at least 1,000 and a density of 400 or more people per square kilometre) in 2006 (Table 4.3). This compares to about 79% for the Canadian-born paid workers with a postsecondary education.

Population centres and rural areas

A population centre has a minimum population concentration of 1,000 persons and a population density of at least 400 persons per square kilometre, based on the current census population count. On-reserve census subdivisions (CSDs) are excluded from this category.

Rural areas, on the other hand, include remote and wilderness areas and agricultural lands, as well as small towns, villages and other populated places with a population of less than 1,000. On-reserve CSDs are excluded from this category.

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Linguistic portrait

Internationally-educated immigrant paid workers come from many countries, more than 200 in total according to the 2006 Census. The shift in the sources of immigration to Canada since the 1970s to source countries from regions other than Europe has had implications for the linguistic portrait of the population in Canada. According to a recent study by Statistics Canada in 2010, more than 80% of internationally-educated immigrants aged 25 to 64 who arrived in Canada in the previous ten years reported a mother tongue other than English or French in 2006. This is considerably higher than the proportion observed for their counterparts established in the country for more than ten years, at 68% (Plante 2010).

Almost all internationally-educated immigrant paid workers reported knowledge of English and/or French

Despite this high proportion of internationally-educated immigrant paid workers with a mother tongue other than English or French, the large majority reported being able to conduct a conversation in one of Canada's two official languages in 2006. Knowledge of English alone represented the bulk of this group, at about 84%, followed by knowledge of both English and French (12%) and knowledge of French only (3%). Only a small proportion (1%) reported not being able to conduct a conversation in either English or French (Table 4.4).

Table 4.4 Linguistic portrait of paid workers aged 25 to 64 with a postsecondary education by immigrant status, location of study and period of landing, Canada, 2006

Internationally-educated immigrant paid workers established in the country for ten years or less were more likely to report not being able to conduct a conversation in one of the two official languages

Although these proportions are very low, very-recent (3%) and recent immigrants (2%) were more likely than their counterparts established in the country for more than 10 years (1%) to report not being able to conduct a conversation in either official language (Table 4.4). Official language proficiency is an important issue for immigrant adjustment in Canada. A recent Statistics Canada survey, the Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Canada, indicated that learning English or French was one of the challenges frequently cited by newcomers, second only to finding an adequate job (Statistics Canada 2008a).

Ethnocultural diversity

According to another report by Statistics Canada on the ethnocultural diversity of the nation's population, the visible-minority population has grown steadily over the past 25 years, rising from slightly less than 5% of the total population in 1981, to 9% in 1991, 11% in 1996, 13% in 2001 and 16% in 2006 (Statistics Canada 2008b). The growth of the visible-minority population was due largely to the increasing number of recent immigrants who were from non-European countries.

Visible minority population

Visible minorities are defined as 'persons, other than Aboriginal persons, who are non-Caucasian in race or non-white in colour.' The following groups are included in the visible minority population: Chinese, South Asians, Blacks, Arabs, West Asians, Filipinos, Southeast Asians, Latin Americans, Japanese, Koreans and other visible minority groups, such as Pacific Islanders.

End of text box.

In fact, as shown in Table 4.5, while seven in ten internationally-educated immigrant paid workers established in the country for ten years or less reported being part of a visible minority group in 2006, this was the case for only about half (53%) of their counterparts established in Canada for more than ten years. This is not surprising considering that, compared to internationally-educated immigrants established in Canada for more than ten years, larger proportions of very-recent and recent immigrants to Canada reported being part of one of the different Asian visible-minority groups such as Chinese, South Asian, Filipino, Southeast Asian, West Asian, Korean and Japanese (Plante 2010).

Table 4.5 Ethnocultural diversity of paid workers aged 25 to 64 with a postsecondary education by immigrant status, location of study and period of landing, Canada, 2006

4.2 The many factors leading to a good education-job skills match

Understanding how and why individuals are matched to their employment (i.e., education-job skills match/mismatch) is of concern to labour market and immigration policy analysts and to immigrants. When interpreting the results, one should keep in mind that, for different reasons, not all individuals wish to work or be employed in an occupation related to their field of study. Furthermore, given that only the highest postsecondary credential (and no previous diploma, certificate or degree) is taken into consideration when matching to the actual occupation, the proportion of good education-job skills matches may be underestimated in some cases (e.g., individual with a credential in engineering technologies/technicians programs who also did a master's degree in business administration and who reported working as an engineering technician). In the case of credentials obtained abroad, another unknown is whether those credentials would have led to a good education-job skills match in their country of origin.

Brief review of the education-job skills match literature

Most studies on education-job skills match focus on how a given level of education affects the quality of the match. However, a careful examination of the literature reveals there has been growing interest in the relationship between job skills match/mismatch and field of study, as well.

Several authors (Wolbers 2003; Grayson 2004; Garcia-Espejo and Ibanez 2006; Robst 2007; Krahn and Bowlby 1999; Storen and Arnesen 2006; and Heijke, Meng and Ris 2003) have found that graduates from occupation-specific programs have a much higher degree of match than those in more general academic programs. This is attributed to the fact that such programs provide specific skills meant for specific occupations (Robst 2007).

The quality of the education-job skills match is also found to be associated with some characteristics of the job. For instance, having a full-time job is associated with a better match (Wolbers 2003), as is having a permanent job (Wolbers 2003; Witte and Kalleberg 1995; Krahn and Bowlby 1999). Other research suggests that this is not always the case, however, as in some situations, having a temporary contract increases the strength of the education-job skills match (Garcia-Espejo and Ibanez 2006).

Those who found work in blue-collar positions or lower tier services had a poorer match than white-collar or professional occupations (Witte and Kalleberg 1995; Garcia-Espejo 2006; Krahn and Bowlby 1999). This is likely attributable to the fact that the higher the position, the more likely it is to require specific credentials.

As for demographic factors, there appears to be some contradictions concerning the effects of age, as Krahn and Bowlby (1999) found that older workers had a slightly better match than younger workers, while Robst (2007), Wolbers (2003), and Witte and Kalleberg (1995) found the opposite.

Other demographic results show that people who were never married, as well as persons with disability tend to have a poorer education-job skills match. Jones and Sloane (2009) also provide evidence that individuals with disabilities are significantly more likely to be mismatched in the labour market. Being female slightly increases the likelihood of match in some studies (Wolbers 2003; Witte and Kalleberg 1995; Robst 2007), slightly decreases its likelihood in others (Krahn and Bowlby 1999), and makes no difference in others (Garcia-Espejo and Ibanez 2006; Storen and Arnesen 2006). This discrepancy is difficult to explain.

There appears to be some contradictions concerning the effects of 'visible minority or ethnic origin.' Many studies have confirmed that visible minorities are penalized in the labour market in earnings and occupation status, and that such penalty tends to persist after variations in human capital and other factors have been taken into account (Lautard and Loree, 1984; Lautard and Guppy, 1999; Li, 1988; Geschwender, 1994). Analyses based on Canadian censuses and survey data have indicated that Canadians of European origins had an income advantage over visible minorities and that a substantial earnings disparity remains after controlling for variations in human capital, demographic characteristics and other job-related factors (Beach and Worswick, 1993; Boyd, 1984, 1992; Li, 1992, 2000; Pendakur and Pendakur, 1998). Galarneau and Morissette (2008) find that a large proportion of immigrants to Canada with university degrees are in jobs with low educational requirements. The highest rates of mismatch were observed among immigrants from Southern and Southeast Asia. Boudarbat and Chernoff (2009), on the other hand, found that although "being a member of a visible minority group" had a negative coefficient in the likelihood of having an education-job skills match, the difference was not significant.

Logistic regression model

The main indicator used to determine if individuals are working in jobs corresponding to their field of study or in an equivalent occupation is the 'education-job skills match' variable. For the purpose of this report, the methodology used to determine if an individual has a good education-job skills match is not limited to a match between a given instructional program and the best corresponding occupation, but also includes the concept of 'skill level' (i.e., the match between a given instructional program and an occupation requiring similar or higher skill levels) as presented in the 'National Occupational Classification Matrix 2006' produced by HRSDC (see Appendices 3 and 4 for more detail on the methodology).

  • Hence, for each given instructional program, an individual can be:
    • Working in the best corresponding or in an equivalent occupation. Individuals in this category are said to be having a good education-job skills match; or
    • Working in an occupation requiring lower skill levels. Individuals in this category are said to be having an education-job mismatch (i.e., are working in occupations for which they are over-qualified).

In the logistic regression model used for Employment outcome #1, the dependent variable equals 1 if a paid worker has a good education-job skills match and 0 otherwise. Variables are compared through the means of an odds-ratio, which indicates the extent to which a given variable contributes to a good education-job skills match compared to the base or reference category. For example, a variable with an odds ratio of 0.5 means that that variable has half the likelihood of leading to a good match as the reference category. An odds ratio above 1 indicates that a given variable is more likely to lead to a good education-job skills match than the reference category.

As reported in the Data and methodology section, the logistic regression analysis first considers the contribution of 'given' characteristics to the probability of having a good education-job skills match: immigrant status by period of landing and region of education.

The sex and age group, marital status and presence of children, level of education and major instructional program, province, territory and area of residence, the language ability status variable, the visible minority status variable, and the variable defining the full/part-time and full/part-year status of employment are then added progressively in order to assess both their independent effects and whether they modify the effects of previously-added variables.

The logic behind this approach is that immigrants do possess certain 'given' characteristics (i.e., they either completed their highest level of education in Canada or abroad, and they landed in Canada during different time period). Their likelihood of having a good education-job skills match can then be influenced by various socio-demographic and educational characteristics, their province, territory and area of residence, as well as by their language ability in one of the two official languages, whether they belong to a visible minority group, and by the full/part-time and full/part-year status of employment.

Results

According to the 2006 Census, among the 617,930 internationally-educated immigrant paid workers aged 25 to 64 and not attending school in 2006 who reported a postsecondary credential in a field of study that would normally lead to work in one of the targeted occupations identified by the FCR Program at HRSDC, less than half (48%) reported working in their trained occupation or in an occupation requiring similar or higher skill levels. This proportion increased to 67% for their Canadian-educated counterparts and to 70% for Canadian-born paid workers with a postsecondary education (Table 4.6).

Table 4.6 Education-job skills matching status of paid workers aged 25 to 64 with a postsecondary education by immigrant status, location of study and period of landing, Canada, 2006

'Given' characteristics

The following section examines the extent to which internationally-educated immigrant paid workers who have a field of study that typically leads to a targeted occupation were actually working in their field of study or in an equivalent occupation. It then identifies the characteristics and determinants more closely associated with a 'successful' employment outcome in the Canadian labour market (i.e., 'given' characteristics correspond to region of education and time elapsed since landing).

Region of education

Internationally-educated immigrant paid workers were less likely than Canadian-born paid workers to be employed in their field of study or in an equivalent occupation

Results from the 2006 Census showed that immigrant paid workers (either educated in Canada or abroad) were generally less likely than Canadian-born paid workers with a postsecondary education to report working in the best corresponding or in an equivalent occupation. As shown in Table 4.7, while Canadian-educated immigrant paid workers were about 10% less likely than Canadian-born paid workers to report a good education-job skills match in 2006, the likelihood for their internationally-educated counterparts were generally lower.

Table 4.7 (Model 4.1) Adjusted odds ratios for working in the best corresponding or equivalent occupations among paid workers aged 25 to 64, Canada, 2006

Regions from which internationally-educated immigrant paid workers reported completing their highest level of education had a clear influence on the likelihood of working in their field of study or in an equivalent occupation. In fact, as shown in Table 4.7, while immigrants with credentials from countries in Northern Europe (i.e., mostly from the United Kingdom) were about 10% more likely than Canadian-born paid workers to report a good education-job skills match, those who completed their highest level of postsecondary education in all other regions outside Canada showed the reverse, with odds ratios ranging from 0.17 for immigrants with credentials from countries in Southeast Asia to 0.75 for those with credentials from countries in Western Europe. Region of education may not be the only factor influencing the likelihood of having a good education-job skills match. Other factors, such as the time since landing in Canada, may also have an influence on the likelihood that these immigrant paid workers were working in the best corresponding or in an equivalent occupation. In fact, as found by Plante 2010, larger proportions of established immigrants reported coming from Northern Europe compared to countries in Southeast Asia and Western Europe. Differences in the match for immigrant paid workers with credentials from countries in North America and Oceania, compared with Canadian-born, were not statistically significant.

Time elapsed since landing

The lower odds ratios among immigrants of working in their field of study or in an equivalent occupation suggest that some individuals encounter difficulties in finding work in the occupations that reasonably match their education. However, the likelihood of finding a good education-job skills match increased with time spent in Canada, to some extent. As shown in Table 4.8, immigrant paid workers established in the country for more than ten years were generally more likely than their very-recent — and of most of their recent counterparts — to be working in the best corresponding or an equivalent occupation. This was the case for all Canadian-educated and internationally-educated immigrant paid workers. Results from the 2006 Census showed that after more than ten years in Canada, immigrant paid workers with credentials from countries in North America and Northern Europe were even 2% and 14% more likely than paid workers born in Canada to report working in an occupation corresponding best to their field of study or in an equivalent occupation. Results were not statistically significant for immigrant paid workers with credentials from Western Europe and Oceania.

Table 4.8 (Model 4.2) Adjusted odds ratios for working in the best corresponding or equivalent occupations among paid workers aged 25 to 64, Canada, 2006

As noted in the literature, one important reason for the relative disadvantage in the labour market of very-recent immigrants compared to immigrants established in the country for a longer period of time is that the skills immigrants have acquired in their home country are often not directly transferable to the host economy. Furthermore, as reported by Reitz (2007), newly-arrived immigrants nearly always experience a period of adjustment in the new country, including adjustment in the labour market. This is particularly true for those from diverse cultural backgrounds and arriving without pre-arranged employment, a situation which is typical for most immigrants to Canada. Over time, these initial difficulties can be overcome more or less successfully and employment and earnings levels rise.

The analysis reported here finds that the magnitude of that 'improvement over time' seems to vary according to the region from which the highest postsecondary credential was obtained. As shown in Table 4.8 (columns 1 and 3), paid workers with credentials from countries in Southern Europe and Africa showed the highest 'improvement over time' with gains of more than 30 percentage points in the likelihood of having a good education-job skills match between very-recent and established immigrants. This was followed by immigrants with credentials earned in Northern Europe (a 27 percentage-point increase), Eastern Asia (a 24 percentage-point increase), Eastern Europe (a 17 percentage-point increase) and North America (a 16 percentage-point increase). However, gains of less than 10 percentage points were observed between very-recent and established immigrant paid workers with credentials from countries in Latin America (5 percentage points), Southeast Asia (5 percentage points), West Central Asia and the Middle East (6 percentage points), and Southern Asia (7 percentage points). In comparison, there was an increase of about 20 percentage points in the likelihood of working in the best corresponding or in an equivalent occupation between very-recent Canadian-educated immigrants and those established in the country for more than ten years. Improvement over time was not statistically significant for immigrant paid workers educated in Western Europe and Oceania.

Although the likelihood of finding a good education-job skills match generally increase with time, immigrant paid workers with credentials from Southeast Asia, Southern Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe, West Central Asia and the Middle East and Eastern Asia were still more than 50% less likely than paid workers born in Canada to report such a positive employment outcome after more than ten years in the country.

That being said, it is also important to note that the likelihood of being employed in the corresponding field or in an equivalent occupation may not be entirely attributed to the effect of 'time elapsed since landing' since compositional change of immigrants who landed during different periods, labour market conditions as well as other factors such as age, language skills, lack of Canadian work experience, strength of social networks, knowledge of the Canadian labour market, difference in the quality of education, and barriers to recognition of international credentials and work experience may also contribute to differences among groups.

Bonikowska, Green and Riddell (2008) reported that although internationally-educated immigrants acquire Canadian work experience over time, another part of the explanation lies in differences in skill levels, especially between foreign-educated immigrants and those who received some or all of their education in Canada. In fact, research has found that skill levels in prose literacy, document literacy, numeracy and problem-solving of immigrants who received all of their education abroad were lower than those of immigrants who received part or all of their education in Canada.

It may also be expected that the longer an immigrant is unable to practice in his or her field of expertise, the more likely he or she will experience "skills atrophy," reducing their chances of finding work in their field of expertise (Lochhead 2002). Economic factors, such as the state of the economy during a particular period of landing, will also play a role in this regard.

Socio-demographic characteristics

After having considered the contribution of the immigrant status, the region of education and the time elapsed since landing to the probability of having a good education-job skills match, the following section examines the influence of various socio-demographic factors on achieving such a positive employment outcome for immigrant paid workers and paid workers in general. This section also examines the impact on the likelihood of working in the best corresponding or an equivalent occupation for immigrant paid workers educated abroad and in Canada, and this, after having progressively added each of these various factors.

Sex and age group

Results from Table 4.9 show that female paid workers were 23% less likely than their male counterparts to report a good education-job skills match in 2006. Differences were also apparent, but of smaller magnitude, by age, with paid workers aged 55 to 64 being less likely than younger paid workers to be working in the best corresponding or an equivalent occupation. On the other hand, paid workers in the prime-working age group of 35 to 54 were generally more likely than younger and older paid workers to have a good education-job skills match.

Table 4.9 (Model 4.3) Adjusted odds ratios for working in the best corresponding or equivalent occupations among paid workers aged 25 to 64, Canada, 2006

Controlling for sex and age group did not have much influence on the likelihood of working in the best corresponding or in an equivalent occupation for internationally-educated immigrants in general. As shown in Appendix 5, the highest variations were observed among very-recent and recent immigrants with credentials from countries in North America, Western Europe and Northern Europe, with decreases in the likelihood of having a good education-job skills match varying from 3 to 6 percentage points, respectively. Among immigrant paid workers established in the country for more than ten years, variations of less than 3 percentage points were observed for all regions of education (including Canada) (Table A.5.1 (columns 1 and 2), Appendix 5).

Such small variations in the likelihood of having a good education-job skills match when controlling for sex and age group are not surprising since the distribution of immigrant paid workers according to such variables was relatively similar to that observed for the population of paid workers in general (Table 4.1).

Marital status and presence of children

Being married or living in a common-law relationship seems to have a positive influence on the likelihood of having a good education-job skills match. In fact, as shown in Table 4.10, paid workers in the core working-age of 25 to 64 who reported being never married or in a common-law relationship, separated, divorced or widowed were all less likely than those being married or living in a common-law relationship to be working in the best corresponding or an equivalent occupation in 2006, with odds ratios ranging from 0.73 for those who reported being widowed, never married or in a common-law relationship to 0.79 for those who reported being divorced.

Table 4.10 (Model 4.4) Adjusted odds ratios for working in the best corresponding or equivalent occupations among paid workers aged 25 to 64, Canada, 2006

The presence of pre-school children also seems to increase the likelihood of paid workers having a good education-job skills match. As shown in Table 4.10, paid workers with pre-school children (aged 5 and under) were more likely than those with or without older children (over 5 years of age) to report working in their field of study or in an equivalent occupation. There are some arguments in favour of an existing link between the number of children and the outcome of individuals in the labour market. As mentioned by Fertig and Schurer (2007), the presence of children could motivate a family father to become more ambitious in his career. According to a study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in 2002, the impact of parenthood on employment rates works in opposite directions for women and men: while women's work rates generally decrease, men's increase, in line with the traditional model of specialisation of gender roles within the household.

Compared to sex and age group, controlling for the marital status and the presence of children has a slightly stronger impact on the likelihood of working in the best corresponding or in an equivalent occupation for internationally-educated immigrants in general, with variations in the odds ratios ranging from 0 to 5 percentage points (Table A.5.1 (columns 2 and 3), Appendix 5).

In the case of immigrant paid workers educated in Canada, the odds ratios remained stable at 0.92 for those established in the country for more than ten years and decreased by slightly less than 1 percentage point to 0.71 for those established in the country for five years or less (very-recent immigrants). Variations were not statistically significant for Canadian-educated immigrant paid workers established in Canada from six to ten years (recent immigrants) (Table A.5.1 (columns 2 and 3), Appendix 5).

Such results are not surprising considering that, compared to Canadian-educated immigrants and the Canadian-born with a postsecondary education, a slightly higher proportion of internationally-educated immigrants aged 25 to 64 reported living in a married or common-law family with children in 2006 (Plante 2010). Removing the effect of those two variables from the results obtained in the previous model led to a decrease in the likelihood of having a good education-job skills match for these internationally-educated immigrant paid workers. Similarly, considering the greater similarity in the type of family arrangement between the Canadian-born with a postsecondary education and immigrants educated in Canada, it is not surprising to see almost no variation from the previous model when controlling for those two variables.

Level of education and major instructional programs

Paid workers who completed their education at the university level were more likely than those who completed their education at another postsecondary level of schooling (college, CEGEP or other non-university level and apprenticeship or trades) to report working in their field of study or in an equivalent occupation (Table 4.11). In fact, the analysis shows that paid workers with university degrees were 34% more likely than their counterparts who completed their education at the college level to report a good education-job skills match. In turn, paid workers with a certificate or diploma from apprenticeship or trade programs were about 33% less likely than paid workers with a certificate or diploma from the college level to report such a positive employment outcome. This situation may require attention in an economic context with shortages of personnel in the trades.

Table 4.11 (Model 4.5) Adjusted odds ratios for working in the best corresponding or equivalent occupations among paid workers aged 25 to 64, Canada, 2006

Results from the 2006 Census also showed that paid workers who studied in programs where there was a clear relationship between educational credentials and the ability to meet the requirements to work — such as for most regulated occupations and trades — generally had a higher likelihood of having a good education-job skills match than those who had studied in a field for which this relationship was not as clear (Table 4.11). Paid workers who graduated from instructional programs leading to health occupations (i.e., mostly regulated occupations) were, in fact, almost two times (194%) more likely than those with credentials in business, finance and administration to be working in their field of study or equivalent occupations. This was followed by paid workers with credentials leading to occupations in trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations (+94%); in social science, education, government service and religion (+22%); in natural and applied sciences and related occupations (+9%); and in occupations in art, culture, recreation and sport (+8%). Paid workers with credentials leading to sales and service occupations were, on the other hand, 9% less likely than their counterparts with credentials in business, finance and administration to have a good education-job skills match.

Similar results have been reported in other studies. As noted by Boudarbat and Chernoff (2009), for example, graduates from occupation-specific programs overall have a much higher degree of match than those of graduates from more general programs. This is attributable to the fact that such programs provide specific skills meant for the job market.

Controlling for level of education and major instructional program seemed to have a relatively large impact on the likelihood of working in the best corresponding or in an equivalent occupation for internationally-educated immigrant paid workers, especially for those established in the country for ten years or less (very-recent and recent immigrants) (Table A.5.1 (columns 3 and 4), Appendix 5). These results are not surprising considering the higher proportion of university degree-holders within this population compared to their counterparts established in Canada for more than ten years, Canadian-educated immigrants and the Canadian-born with a postsecondary education.

Higher variations in the likelihood of having a good education-job skills match were also observed among immigrants with credentials from specific regions. As shown in Appendix 5, this was particularly true for immigrants with credentials from North America, some regions of Europe and Oceania. This may be attributable to the higher number of university-degree holders coming from these countries compared to those from other regions of the globe (Table A.5.1 (columns 3 and 4), Appendix 5).

In the case of immigrant paid workers educated in Canada, the likelihood of having a good education-job skills match dropped by slightly less than 1 percentage point to 0.91 for immigrants established in the country for more than ten years, and decreased by about 3 percentage points to 0.68 for very-recent immigrants, once controlling for education level and major instructional program. The impact was not statistically significant for Canadian-educated immigrant paid workers established in Canada from six to ten years (Table A.5.1 (columns 3 and 4), Appendix 5).

Province, territory and area of residence

As shown in Table 4.12, paid workers in Alberta (+7%) and the territories (+19%) were more likely than their counterparts in Ontario and the other provinces to report working in the best corresponding or an equivalent occupation in 2006. The higher likelihood shown by paid worker in the territories may be explained by the introduction of programs helping northern graduates find work related to their field of study. Through its Northern Graduate Employment Program, for example, the Government of the Northwest Territories has committed to helping northern graduates from recognized postsecondary nursing and social work programs find work experience related to their field of study. In addition to gaining valuable experience in their field of study, these programs offer a competitive salary, benefits and opportunities for advancement. A strong labour market for some provinces in 2006 may also help explain results obtained by paid workers living in Alberta.

In contrast, paid workers in the Atlantic Provinces showed the lowest likelihood of having a good education-job skills match among all provinces and territories in Canada. This was followed by paid workers in Quebec, Saskatchewan, British Columbia and Manitoba.

Finally, paid workers living in population centres were more likely than paid workers in rural areas to report having a good education-job skills match (Table 4.12). This may be attributable to the economic opportunities offered in these areas compared to rural areas (Statistics Canada 2007). Population centres, especially those consisting of a population of 100,000 and over (i.e., large urban population centres), have the ability to offer more job opportunities and a greater variety of jobs than smaller centres.

Table 4.12 (Model 4.6) Adjusted odds ratios for working in the best corresponding or equivalent occupations among paid workers aged 25 to 64, Canada, 2006

Controlling for location of residence (i.e., province, territory, population centre and rural area) also had a relatively large impact on the likelihood of working in the best corresponding or in an equivalent occupation for internationally-educated immigrant paid workers (Table A.5.1 (columns 4 and 5), Appendix 5). These results are not surprising considering that, compared to the population of paid workers in general, a higher proportion of internationally-educated immigrants reported living in Ontario (57% vs. 38%) or in population centres (96% vs. 83%) (Table 4.3).

Ability to conduct a conversation in Canada's official languages

The analysis finds that, compared to the knowledge of English only, being able to converse in both official languages increases the likelihood of working in the best corresponding or an equivalent occupation. As shown in Table 4.13, paid workers who reported being able to conduct a conversation in both English and French were about 21% more likely than their counterparts who reported speaking English only, to have a good education-job skills match. Conversely, paid workers who reported not being able to converse in at least one of Canada's official languages were about 41% less likely than those speaking English only to report working in their field of study or in an equivalent occupation. Paid workers who reported speaking French only were about 5% less likely than those speaking English only to report a good education-job skills match.

Table 4.13 (Model 4.7) Adjusted odds ratios for working in the best corresponding or equivalent occupations among paid workers aged 25 to 64, Canada, 2006

Controlling for language ability did not, in general, have a significant impact on the likelihood, for internationally-educated immigrants, to be working in the best corresponding or an equivalent occupation (Table A.5.1 (columns 5 and 6), Appendix 5). These results are not surprising considering that, similar to what was observed for paid workers in general, the majority of internationally-educated immigrants reported being able to conduct a conversation in one of Canada's official languages, with the bulk of them reporting (84%) English only (Table 4.4).

Immigrants with foreign credentials from Western Europe, Africa, West Central Asia and the Middle East showed a slight decrease in the likelihood of having a good education-job skills match after controlling for language ability. This may be attributable to the higher proportion of French-speaking immigrants within these regions (e.g., France, Belgium and Lebanon). With a 2 percentage-points increase, immigrants with credentials from Eastern Asia showed, on the other hand, the largest improvement among all internationally-educated immigrants after controlling for language ability (Table A.5.1 (columns 5 and 6), Appendix 5). Again, this may be attributable to the higher proportion of immigrants reporting not being able to conduct a conversation in either one of the official languages within this region compared to other regions.

Visible minority status

The analysis finds that being a member of a visible minority group decreased the likelihood of working in the best corresponding or an equivalent occupation. As shown in Table 4.14, paid workers who reported being a member of a visible minority group were 28% less likely than those who were not to report a good education-job skills match.

Table 4.14 (Model 4.8) Adjusted odds ratios for working in the best corresponding or equivalent occupations among paid workers aged 25 to 64, Canada, 2006

The analysis finds that controlling for visible minority status had a significant impact on the likelihood that immigrants (either educated in Canada or abroad) would be working in the best corresponding or an equivalent occupation. Immigrants with credentials from Canada, North America, Africa and Eastern Asia showed the highest increases in percentage points in the likelihood of reporting a good education-job skills match, once controlling for visible minority status. This was followed closely by immigrants educated in Latin America, Northern Europe, West Central Asia and the Middle East, and in Southern Asia. Variations of less than 1 percentage point were observed for immigrants with credentials from Eastern and Southern Europe (Table A.5.1 (columns 6 and 7), Appendix 5).

Full/part-time and full/part-year status of employment

Finally, the full/part-time and full/part-year status of employment also had an influence on the likelihood of working in the best corresponding or an equivalent occupation. Paid workers who reported working full-time for the full year were 119% more likely than their counterparts working part-time for only part of the year to report a good education-job skills match. This was followed by paid workers who reported being employed full-time for part of the year (+52%) and by those who reported being employed part-time, but for the full year (+9%) (Table 4.15).

Table 4.15 (Model 4.9) Adjusted odds ratios for working in the best corresponding or equivalent occupations among paid workers aged 25 to 64, Canada, 2006

Similar to what was observed for visible minority status, controlling for the full/part-time and full/part-year status of employment had a significant impact on the likelihood that immigrants (either educated in Canada or abroad) would be working in the best corresponding or an equivalent occupation. The highest variations in the likelihood of reporting a good education-job skills match were observed among very-recent immigrants. These results are not surprising considering that, compared to immigrants established in the country for a longer period of time, a higher proportion of very-recent immigrants reported working on a part-time basis. Variations of more than 5 percentage-points were observed for very-recent immigrants with credentials from Canada, North America, and Western and Northern Europe. The impact was not statistically significant for very-recent immigrants educated in Oceania (Table A.5.1 (columns 7 and 8), Appendix 5).

Summary

This section examined the characteristics and determinants associated with the likelihood of being employed in an occupation related to the field of study or in an occupation requiring similar or higher skill levels among paid workers aged 25 to 64 not attending school in 2006 and with credentials leading to the targeted occupations as identified by the FCR Program at HRSDC. As shown by analysis of data from the 2006 Census, internationally-educated immigrants were generally less likely than their Canadian-educated counterparts and the Canadian-born with a postsecondary education to be employed in such occupations.

Regions from which credentials were obtained had a clear impact on the likelihood of being employed in associated or equivalent occupations for these paid workers. Other than for immigrants with credentials from countries in Northern Europe, immigrants who completed their highest level of postsecondary education in all other regions outside Canada were less likely than paid workers born in Canada to be working in their field of study or in an equivalent occupation.

Time elapsed since landing also figured among the characteristics and determinants more closely associated with integration of internationally-educated immigrants in the Canadian labour market. Those established in the country for more than ten years were generally more likely than their recent and very-recent counterparts to be working in the best corresponding or an equivalent occupation. Factors noted in the literature that help to explain this finding include the discounting in the Canadian labour market of skills developed abroad and recognition that new immigrants, especially those arriving without pre-arranged employment, face a period of cultural and economic adjustment.

This being said, it is also important to note that the likelihood of being employed in the corresponding field or in an equivalent occupation may not be entirely attributed to the effect of 'time elapsed since landing' but includes a range of other factors as well. These include differences in the characteristics of immigrants who landed during different time periods, labour market conditions, as well as other factors such as language skills, lack of Canadian work experience, strength of social networks, knowledge of the Canadian labour market, difference in the quality of education, and barriers to recognition of international credentials and work experience.

Not surprisingly, paid workers who studied in programs where there was a clear relationship between educational credentials and the ability to meet the requirements to work — such as for most regulated occupations and trades — generally had a higher likelihood of having a good education-job skills match than those who had studied in a field for which this relationship was not as clear.

At the provincial and territorial level, paid workers in Alberta and the territories were more likely than their counterparts in Ontario and the other provinces to report working in the best corresponding or an equivalent occupation, whereas paid workers from the Atlantic Provinces and Quebec showed the lowest probabilities.

Results also showed that compared to the knowledge of English only, being able to converse in both official languages increases the likelihood of working in the best corresponding or an equivalent occupation. Conversely, paid workers who reported not being able to converse in at least one of Canada's official languages and those speaking French only were less likely than those speaking English only to report a good education-job skills match.

Finally, the analysis found that being male, being aged 35 to 54, living in a married or common-law relationship, having pre-school children, living in population centres, not being part of a visible minority group and the fact of working on a full-time full year basis all have a positive influence on the likelihood of having a good education-job skills match.

 

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