CYRRC

Economic Outcomes of Refugees in Canada – Median Income

Researchers: Yoko Yoshida1, Jonathan Amoyaw2 and Rachel McLay
Affiliation: Dalhousie University1 and the University of Saskatchewan2
Keywords: Economic outcomes, employment rate, median employment income, refugees, immigrants, landing category, Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, IMDB, data
Go to: Findings, Graphs

Summary

Median employment income is a crucial metric for understanding the settlement experiences of refugees in Canada. For working age immigrants, finding a job and earning a decent wage are necessary not only for financial stability but also for social integration, happiness, and well-being.

Using data from the 2016 Longitudinal Immigrant Database (IMDB), which combines information from immigrants’ landing records with their tax files, it is possible to study the employment outcomes of refugees over time. In this report, we look at median employment incomes of refugees in Nova Scotia, Manitoba, Alberta, and British Columbia for three landing cohorts: 2007-2009, 2010-2012, and 2013-2015. Figures are generated from IMDB data that has been made publicly available by Statistics Canada (STC). This report provides an example of what can be learned through the creation of customized tables using the tools and interactive applications provided on Statistics Canada’s website, found at the following link here. This interactive visualization tool provides a useful way of customizing mobility statistics to meet researchers’ needs and interests.

Findings

Median Income by Province over Time

  • Median employment incomes are highest for refugees in Alberta compared to the other provinces.
  • In Alberta, refugees’ income levels are about $23,000 after one year, increasing to nearly $30,000 after five years.
  • Over time, the median income of refugees in Manitoba, increased more than it did in Alberta and B.C.. In Manitoba, the median income of refugees in the 2007-2009 cohort rose by 59% between year one and year five, increasing from $14,575 to $23,135. In Alberta and B.C., for the same cohort, median income increased by 33% and 32% respectively from year one to year five.
  • The median income for refugees in Nova Scotia is significantly lower than in other provinces; however, for the 2010-2012 cohort, median income nearly doubled from one year to five years after landing, increasing from $8,020 to $15,905.

Median Income of Refugees Compared to Other Immigrants

  • In Alberta, the 2010-2012 cohort earned about the same as family class immigrants, reaching about $29,000 after five years.
  • In B.C. refugees earned a median employment income of $20,480 after five years—about $3,600 less than family class immigrants in the province and little more than half what economic immigrants earned.
  • In Manitoba, trends are similar to those from B.C., but median income figures are higher for both refugees and family class immigrants.
  • Nova Scotia shows the largest earning gap between economic immigrants and refugees.

For information on employment rates of refugees in Canada, please refer to our page on economic outcomes here 

Graphs

Figure 1: Median employment incomes of refugees in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, and Nova Scotia, 2010-2012 cohorts.

Figure 2 & 3: Refugees’ median employment income in Alberta and British Columbia by landing cohort. 

Figure 4 & 5: Refugees’ median employment income in Manitoba and Nova Scotia by landing cohort. 

Figure 6 & 7: Median employment income in Alberta and British Columbia by landing category for 2010-2012 cohort. 

Figure 8 & 9: Median employment income in Manitoba and Nova Scotia by landing category for 2010-2012 cohort.

  • Fig. 1
  • Fig. 2 & 3
  • Fig. 4 & 5
  • Fig. 6 & 7
  • Fig. 8 & 9

Figure 1: Median employment incomes of refugees in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, and Nova Scotia, 2010-2012 cohorts.

Figure 2 & 3: Refugees’ median employment income in Alberta and British Columbia by landing cohort.

Figure 4 & 5: Refugees’ median employment income in Manitoba and Nova Scotia by landing cohort.

Figure 6 & 7: Median employment income in Alberta and British Columbia by landing category for 2010-2012 cohort.

Figure 8 & 9: Median employment income in Manitoba and Nova Scotia by landing category for 2010-2012 cohort.

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