FACES OF OTTAWA
A Snapshot of Immigrant Labour Market Integration
La bour Ma r ket Integ r ation
City of Otta wa
Ma rch 2007
otta w a.ca
2006 City of Ottawa Wards
Ward Ward Name
4 Kanata North
5 West Carleton-March
6 Stittsville-Kanata West
11 Beacon Hill-Cyrville
18 Alta Vista
22 Gloucester-South Nepean
23 Kanata South
FA CES OF OT TAWA
R ecent Immig r a nts Living within the City of Otta w a
THE FACES OF OTTAWA REPORT
FA OT REPORT
‘Faces of Ottawa’ was conducted by the City of Ottawa to develop a thorough understanding of the immigrants who have chosen the City as
their new home. This report provides a broad understanding of the economic make up of our diverse communities and summarizes existing
reports, surveys and Statistics Canada data in order to develop a benchmark for which the Immigration Ottawa Initiative (IOI) will be formed and
evaluated. This report provides a profile of recent immigrants, who have immigrated to Canada and specifically, to the City of Ottawa. (Recent
immigrants are generally considered to be people who have immigrated to Canada during the period of 1996-2001.)
By 2011, newcomers will account for 100 per cent of the net labour force growth with Ottawa being the second largest recipient of immigrants in
Ontario. Thus, the objective of the IOI is to develop a city wide strategy to improve social inclusion and labour market integration for the residents of
Ottawa, including immigrants, linked to local economic development priorities. This will ensure a prosperous economy for the City of Ottawa.
RECENT IMMIGRANTS ARE THE FASTEST GRO WING SEGMENT OF THE CITY’S POPULATIO N
Between 1986 and 2001, the immigration population in Ottawa grew at a faster rate (65 per cent) compared to the immigration population growth
rates in Ontario (46 per cent) and Canada (39 per cent). In Ottawa, the immigrant population growth was three times of the Canadian-born
population and just over two-times more than the overall Ottawa population growth rate. Over half (at 51per cent) of immigrants were of
Between 1991 and 2001, 34,375 immigrants settled in Ottawa accounting for 83.6 per cent of net labour force growth. By 2017, immigrants will
account for 27 per cent and visible minorities 28 per cent of Ottawa’s population.
Population in Ottawa (2001) by Immigrant Status and Canada’s Net Labour Force Growth 2004
Total Immigrant Population Net labour force growth due to Immigration
Total Canadian Born Population Net labour force growth due to Canadian born labour force
Source: 2001 Census Analysis Series,The Changing Profile of Canada’s Labour Force, Statistics Canada 2003
WHY IS THE CITY OF OTTAWA A DESTINATION OF CHOICE FOR NEW CANADIANS?
OT DESTINATION CANADIANS?
Immigrants tend to choose the destination for their settlement based on the area where their networks of family and friends are in Canada.
In addition, eight in 10 newcomers stay in their intended destination after their arrival with little secondary migration after arriving in Canada.
The most prevalent reason why newcomers chose to settle in a particular place is because they already had a spouse, partner or other family member
living there. The second most commonly cited reason for their settlement destination choice was because they already had friends living there.1
Far less often cited reasons by new immigrants for their choice of destination for settlement were job prospects, education, lifestyle and housing.
DID YOU KNOW? Ottawa is the second largest recipient of immigrants in Ontario after Toronto and GTA, and is possibly the
second largest recipient of secondary migration and refugees, mostly from Quebec.
Ranked 18th in the world by the Mercer Quality of Living Survey, Ottawa rates high in terms of education, employment, recreation, health and
safety, cleanliness, low crime and economic development.
Source: Mercer HR, 2006.
Longitudinal Survey of Immigrants to Canada, Statistics Canada, 2003
FA CES OF OT TAWA
Summa ry of Highlights
Number of Immigrants in Ottawa by Top 10 Countries of Origin, 2001
0% 2% 4% 6% 8% 10% 12% 14%
• 29 per cent of those who arrived before 1986 were from the United Kingdom and Italy. Among the most recent immigrants who landed
between 1996 and 2001, seven of the top 10 countries where immigrants originated from are in Asia – the largest of this group, one-in-five,
were from China; followed by a smaller share from India.2
• 3/4 of those who arrived between 1991 and 2001 were visible minorities
• Between 1996 and 2001, the percentage growth of visible minority groups was:
- Chinese community (Ottawa 43.9 per cent: Canada 19.7 per cent)
- Black community (Ottawa 20.1 per cent: Canada 15.4 per cent)
- Filipino community (Ottawa 38.7 per cent: Canada 31.8 per cent)
• Ottawa receives the highest share of immigrants (82 per cent) with university degrees in Canada, higher than their Canadian born counterparts
(67 per cent)
• Over half of recent newcomers are between the ages of 24 and 44 years. Arriving in their prime working, voting and childbearing ages.
• Newcomers are committed to Canada with 86 per cent of those who immigrated between 1986 and 1995 becoming Canadian citizens by May 2001
• Over the next 10 years, Ottawa can anticipate receiving between 6,000 and 8,000 immigrants per year
• After employment, the second most serious problem encountered by six out of 10 immigrants after six months was finding suitable housing
WHAT THIS MEANS: The cultural diversity within the City of Ottawa will continue to expand impacting upon the needs of the
community. Programs and services need to continue to be responsive to the evolving population with an increased emphasis on required
supports for employers to integrate a highly skilled and committed workforce.
• Recent immigrants are more highly educated than their Canadian born contemporaries with 79 per cent of women and 86 per cent of men
possessing a university degree prior to arrival
• Seven-in-10 immigrant men and four-in-10 immigrant women (compared to five-in-10 Canadian-born men and one-in-10 Canadian-born women
respectively) had a post-secondary diploma or degree in the physical sciences, engineering and trades
• Despite being highly educated, the overall average income of immigrants is lower than that of Canadian-born individuals with the average salary
for immigrants who arrived between 1996-1999 being $24,810 compared to that of Canadian born individuals with an average salary of $37,870
for the same time period. Thus, an immigrant’s salary is 68 per cent of the average income of Canadian-born households.
• Foreign work experience only received just over 50 per cent of confidence from Canadian employers. It is estimated that the lack of recognition
of foreign experience accounts for one-third of the earnings gap of newcomers.
WHAT THIS MEANS: With more than 344,723 Canadians not having their foreign credentials recognized, the recognition of foreign
education levels needs to be appropriately recognized resulting in benefits to the individual, the community and the economy.
The underutilization of newcomers accounts for a loss of between $2 and $3 billion dollars per year for our economy.3
L ANGUA GE
• The majority of immigrants 15 years of age and over reported that when they landed they were able to speak one or both of the Official Languages
• However, despite this, one of the main employment barriers for immigrants is language
• Between 1996 and 2001, there was a small increase in the share of immigrants who spoke French only
• According to the periods of immigration, the share of immigrants with neither English nor French (allophones) increased slightly over time.
• A larger share of immigrant women than immigrant men spoke neither English nor French, or spoke French only
• Four -in-10 immigrants aged 15 years of age and over living in Ottawa spoke a non-official language at home
DID YOU KNOW? More than nine in 10 immigrants arrive with Official Language abilities. Language barriers are not limited to
language. Also included are: accent, rhythm of speech, job/position specific language skills, sector jargon and Canadian idioms and slang and
cross cultural communication.
DID YOU KNOW? A number of Canadian employers indicate that the employment-related language skills of some immigrants were
inadequate for employment in their work place.This indicates that immigrants may not have the level and standard of language required
for certain jobs in Canada.
WHAT THIS MEANS: There is a need for employment related language supports for immigrants during the initial settlement phase
and for attachment to the labour force.
Report on Diversity, Conference Board of Canada, 2006.
EMPLOYMENT AND INCOME
• Despite having high levels of education, immigrants experience very high unemployment rates compared to Canadian-born contemporaries
• The more recent the arrival and the younger the age group, the higher the unemployment rates for immigrants
• The unemployment rate for immigrant women was six times that of Canadian-born contemporaries; while it was almost 2.5 times for
immigrant men relative to Canadian-born men with university level of education
• Almost one-in-four immigrants who arrived between 1996 and 2001 had low income. The incidence of low income for this immigrant group
was 2.5 times that of the Canadian-born.4
• The employment rate of immigrants six months after arrival was only 52 per cent. Although increasing over time, employment outcomes
continued to be below the national figures both one year and two years after arrival.
KEY ISSUES FOR IMMIGRANTS
• Finding employment
• Accessing training
• Finding housing
• Accessing health services
• Recognition of foreign credential education and training
• Recognition of foreign experience
• Racism and discrimination
DID YOU KNOW? Ottawa’s real GDP is projected at 3.1 per cent compared to 2.9 per cent nationally, for each year between 2006 and 2009.
OT TAWA ECO NOMY
• Ottawa has grown from a government and public sector dominant economy to one that now encompasses telecommunications, life sciences,
photonics, microelectronics, tourism, software and professional development
• Ottawa attracts 38 per cent of all venture capital investment in Canada
• Ottawa is always competing for the best and the brightest immigrants in Canada and globally, and will have to act with focus to encourage
immigration with the right skill sets to increase labour force growth
• In Ottawa’s globalization efforts, immigrants are an extremely rich talent pool that can be tapped into for language and in-depth knowledge of
cultural, political and business nuances and practices of global markets
DID YOU KNOW? 51 per cent of private sector managers view the shortage of skilled labour as a very serious problem. Among the
actions that were very important to address the shortage of skilled labour, only 15 per cent considered hiring new immigrants, 39 per cent
preferred hiring young labour market entrants.
DID YOU KNOW? The recent focus on the successful labour market integration of immigrants has arisen out of the response to
Canada’s low birth rate, aging population, retiring baby boomer workforce, decreasing labour force growth and increasing dependency
ratios. In spite of this, employers do not incorporate immigrants into their human resource planning, hire immigrants at jobs that
underutilize their training; and encounter challenges integrating new immigrants into their workforce.
WHAT THIS MEANS: Immigrants can be a strategic economic resource in “acculturating” Canadian businesses to global markets in
terms of commercializing innovation, marketing and exports.
With the large number of newcomers choosing the City of Ottawa as their home in the coming years and the impending labour shortage, we are
faced with new opportunities. Integrating and retaining newcomers will:
• Enhance cultural diversity within the City
• Increase the number of highly skilled individuals within the local labour market offsetting the demand pending the retirement of the Baby
• Allow us the opportunity to remain competitive and diverse in the marketplace by bringing together the best talent with access to the
broadest markets generating greater profits for the City and the economy
• Engage employers and businesses to work with newcomers to create innovation within the global market
With great opportunities, come some challenges, specifically:
• Within the initial settlement phase, immigrants are potentially vulnerable and require the supports necessary to ensure success. Particularly,
with securing employment in their chosen profession.
• Existing programs and services may be limited and not necessarily targeted towards the immigrant population and employers
• Trends in population will make cities and specifically, employers reliant on immigrants for increased success. Employers need to be actively
involved to ensure labour market issues are brought to the forefront.
• Funding from the provincial and federal levels is limited for settlement and labour market integration services
Ensuring the successful settlement and economic integration of newcomers will help to promote cities as a destination of choice. With over
70 per cent citing employment as the first priority once arriving in Canada, employment must be achievable and sustainable to ensure the
success of newcomers, the community and the city of their choice.
Supporting Employ ers
Working with employers, along with the community, will increase the awareness of immigrants as a potential solution to the looming labour force
shortages. Asking employers how we can help them to reduce the identified barriers to hiring new immigrants will ensure their needs are met.
Leading the Way
Leading by performing, cities as employers can integrate immigrants and visible minorities successfully into their workforce. This leadership will
act as a positive role model for the community and will help cities as employers meet their workforce needs.
A CKNO WLEDGEMENTS
FACES OF OTTAWA - A SNAPSHOT OF IMMIGRANT LABOUR MARKET INTEGRATION was prepared with the primary
purpose of summarizing existing reports, surveys and census data in order to develop a benchmark for which the Immigration Ottawa Initiative
will be formed and evaluated. Data in this report has been obtained from the Statistics Canada 2001 Census. The 2006 Census was not
available at the time of printing.
This report was prepared by the City of Ottawa’s Economic Development and Strategic Projects (EDSP) Branch and the Employment and
Financial Assistance (EFA) Branch, with special acknowledgements to:
Elizabeth Kwan, Independent Consultant, for the best part of the research
Shanna Culhane, EFA Branch, Policy Planning and Evaluation Officer
Suzanne Gagnon, EFA Branch, Manager Labour Market Integration
Paul Maloney, CPS Deputy City Manager’s Office, Planner II
Colleen Pellatt, CPS Deputy City Manager’s Office, Senior Strategic Planner
Dave Powers, EDSP, Consultant Economic Development
We gratefully acknowledge the support provided by the additional members of the Immigration Ottawa Initiative (IOI) Steering Committee:
Donna Gray, Manager of Strategic Initiatives/Business Planning
Danielle Masse, Director of the EFA Branch
Michael Murr, Manager of Economic Development
A special thanks to Andre Lamarche, Project Manager with Public Information, Client Services and Public Information
Branch for his commitment to this project.
For further information, please contact:
Manager, Labour Market Integration
City of Ottawa
613-560-0618 ext. 24381