Academic journal article Canadian Journal of Urban Research

The Effect of Labour Market Characteristics on Canadian Immigrant Employment in Precarious Work, 2006-2012

Academic journal article Canadian Journal of Urban Research

The Effect of Labour Market Characteristics on Canadian Immigrant Employment in Precarious Work, 2006-2012

Article excerpt


Using data from the Canadian Labour Force Survey for 2006 through 2012, I examine the effects of characteristics of Census Metropolitan Areas (CMAs) on the likelihood of recent and established immigrants and the Canadian born to be employed in precarious work. Using multi-level models, I find that employment in temporary jobs and multiple jobs by both recent and established immigrant males is affected by a CMA's median hourly earnings as well as the immigrant representation in a CMA. Also, cross-level interactions reveal recent male immigrants to be less likely to be employed in multiple jobs in CMA in which the median wage is higher.

Keywords: Immigrants, census metropolitan areas, precarious work, Canada, sex


A partir des donnees de l'Enquete sur la population active du Canada de 2006 a 2012, j'examine les effets des caracteristiques des regions metropolitaines de recensement (RMR) sur la probabilite que les immigrants recents et etablis et les Canadiens nes soient employes dans un travail precaire. A l'aide de modeles a niveaux multiples, je constate que l'emploi dans les emplois temporaires et les emplois multiples, tant chez les immigrants recents que chez les immigrants etablis, est affecte par le salaire horaire median de l'AMC et la representation des immigrants dans une RMR. De plus, les interactions croisees revelent que les nouveaux immigrants de sexe masculin sont moins susceptibles d'etre employes dans de multiples emplois en RMR ou le salaire median est plus eleve.

Mots cles: Immigrants, regions metropolitaines de recensement, travail precaire, Canada, sexe


The labour force participation rate of a country reflects not only that nation's economic opportunities but also its ability to successfully integrate immigrants (both established and recent). Gainful employment, therefore, is a key component of economic integration into the host country. Unfortunately, individuals employed in precarious jobs often fall short of becoming economically viable. In this paper, I will highlight the shortcomings experienced by Canadian newcomers engaged in three types of precarious employment: involuntary part-time work, temporary job holders and multiple job holders and how they are affected by local labour market conditions.

Local labour markets determine varying immigrant experiences depending on the type of industry that is predominant within that Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) or province. For example, Alberta is known for its oil and gas industry, forestry, and agriculture, while eastern Canadian provinces incorporate the majority of manufacturing industries. In fact, according to Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC, 2011), Ontario and Quebec together produce more than three-quarters of all Canadian manufactured goods. Unfortunately, underutilization of highly educated and highly skilled immigrant men and women is preventing Canada from replacing its "near retirement" workers whose numbers are growing at a rapid pace (Lochhead and Mackenzie, 2005). In fact, 90 percent of business leaders describe Canada's impending labour shortage problem as either moderate or serious (Lochhead and Mackenzie, 2005).

In order to further address looming labour shortages in Canada, it is also imperative to highlight the existence of sex differences within precarious work. According to Fuller and Vosko (2007) existing research suggests that temporary employment is organized in highly gendered and racialized ways in industrialized countries. Furthermore, Vosko, Zukewich, and Cranford (2003) contend that a majority of workers in the part-time forms of paid work are women. In fact, in 2002, women made up the majority of casual temporary employees, most of whom work part time, while men dominated seasonal forms of temporary paid work, most of which is full-time (Vosko et al. 2003). In addition, Vosko et al. (2003) identify "casualization" as a term to define the use of casual workers to replace permanent full-time labour. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.