Ongoing Project:

Labour Market Vulnerabilities of Refugees in Canada: The Impacts of Entry Program, Arrival Age, and Gender

Researchers: Monica Boyd and Shawn Perron
Affiliations: University of Toronto
Keywords: refugees, entry program, gender, age at arrival, socioeconomic integration, quantitative methodology


Objective: This study aims to document and analyze the stratifying effects of immigration entry program, gender, and age at arrival on the socioeconomic integration of refugees.

Justification: Entry status not only sorts migrants but molds subsequent experiences. Research finds that refugees in the Private Sponsorship entry program have the best integration profiles, that men have better labour market integration than women refugees, and that refugees who arrive as children have better socioeconomic integration.

Practical goal: This study will provide up-to-date information and analysis about male and female refugees who arrive under different entry statuses and at different stages of the life cycle.

Primary audience: academics, policy makers, and service providers.


This study uses data from IRCC’s combination of entry visa information and the 2016 census of population records which preserves the distinctions between refugee classes but adds more indicators of the labour market integration of Canada’s refugee population entering after 1980. Thus, the research population consists of persons aged 25-54 in 2016 admitted in one of the three major refugee admissions categories between 1986 and 2014. This study will produce informative cross-tabulations, charts and short summaries for a non-academic audience and multivariate analyses of a smaller subset of indicators for an academic audience.

This study asks the following questions:

  1. What are the associations between entry programs of refugees and levels of socioeconomic integration? Specifically, are indicators of integration higher for refugees admitted under the Private Sponsorship (PSR) category compared to other groups, particularly Government Assisted Refugees (GARS) and the within-Canada admissions?

  2. To what extent do between-program differences reflect differences in the characteristics of the populations in each program?

  3. What are the impacts of gender and arrival age and do these impacts vary by entry program?

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