Building on COVID-Period Immigration Levels: The Economic Case

The Conference Board of Canada, 24 pages, July 28, 2021
Issue briefing by ,
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Immigration is key to Canada’s future prosperity. This year, Canada can choose between building on COVID-period immigration targets or returning to pre-COVID levels. The two scenarios presented show the projected economic impact of each scenario, and the report recommends how to maximize the benefits of immigration for Canadians and newcomers.

Document Highlights

  • Building on COVID-era immigration targets leads to greater GDP and public revenues, as well as a better worker-to-retiree ratio.
  • Higher immigration levels yield a modest decrease in GDP per capita in the growth scenario by 2040, showing the need to bridge the employment and income gaps between immigrant and Canadian-born population.
  • Underemployment and lack of access to entrepreneurship opportunities remain a challenge for newcomers, particularly in the years immediately following their arrival. More rapid integration into the economy will increase GDP, GDP per capita, and public revenues in both scenarios.
  • Easy and early access to holistic settlement services that address all dimensions will help improve social and economic inclusion.
  • A stable immigration system with strong access to permanent residence and citizenship make Canada an attractive destination for potential immigrants.
  • Distribution of immigrants across Canada, including to rural communities, spreads the benefits of immigration.

Table of Contents

Key findings
The economic benefits of building on COVID-era immigration levels
Implementing immigration as a growth strategy
Recommendations: Unlocking the full economic potential of immigration
Appendix A—Methodology
Appendix B—Bibliography

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