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Report finds immigrant wage gap costing Canada $50 billion a year in GDP

Report finds immigrant wage gap costing Canada $50 billion a year in GDP
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TORONTO - A new report from RBC Economics says the growing wage gap between immigrants and Canadian-born workers is costing the country $50 billion each year.

The study finds that new Canadians earn 10 per cent less on average than workers born on Canadian soil, a gulf that spans age, gender, region and occupation.

Dawn Desjardins, deputy chief economist at RBC Economics, says the problem stems back to a failure to adequately recognize credentials and work experience abroad.

About 38 per cent of university-educated immigrants aged 25 to 54 work at a job that fits their education level, compared with more than half of their Canadian-born counterparts.

The gap in median earnings between the Canadian-born and those born elsewhere has risen over the past three decades, climbing to 10.3 per cent in 2016 from 3.8 per cent in 1986.

Desjardins says the government should upgrade its credentials assessments, help employers recognize foreign work experience and devote more resources to aiding immigrants’ transition into the workforce.

Immigrants make up one-fifth of Canada’s population, a number that’s expected to rise to 28 per cent by 2036.
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