Home Economy Doctors are six times more likely to work outside the field than other immigrants

Doctors are six times more likely to work outside the field than other immigrants

by SuperiorInvest

Ottawa’s approach to recruiting rookies needs an overhaul if it wants to address the labor shortage

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Few debates about immigration policy close without anyone talking about the foreign-trained doctors who were forced to drive taxis. But it’s not a trophy, according to a new report from economists at the Royal Bank of Canada, evidence that Ottawa’s approach to recruiting rookies needs an overhaul.

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Immigrants with a medical degree are six times more likely to work in jobs that do not require their skills than other immigrants, highlighting the degree to which occupational designation is a barrier to maximizing talent, Nathan Janzen and Claire Fan showed in the paper. message posted on February 22.

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Janzen used this finding to argue that the “misrecognition” of foreign documents is an important barrier to the better use of immigrants’ skills to increase wealth-enhancing productivity. New Canadians tend to be younger and more “academically accomplished,” yet they fare worse when it comes to finding suitable work, exacerbating the problem of an acute labor shortage.

“Having a larger labor force coming into the country … helps offset some of the effects of an aging population on labor force growth,” Janzen said. “But if we make better use of these skills, it also means a more productive workforce.”

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The Royal Bank’s contribution to the immigration debate follows a series of public interventions in recent months Viktor Dodig, CEO of Canada’s Imperial Bank of Commerce, who is urging the federal government to think about immigration holistically, not just in terms of how many new arrivals it accepts in a given year. Last week, Dodig upped the ante when he told an audience in Toronto that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s decision to significantly increase immigration levels without first boosting the housing supply is triggering risks in the country. “The biggest social crisis” over the next decade if something is not done soon to fix the problem.

Canada raised its immigration targets last year. The Trudeau government wants to bring in 465,000 permanent residents by 2023; 485,000 in 2024; and 500,000 in 2025 as it looks to address labor shortages. The numbers are higher than last year’s plan, which targeted 447,055 newcomers in 2023 and 451,000 in 2024.

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The federal government said it was working to introduce new tools this year to better help the immigration system target sectors such as health and construction that have the highest labor needs.

Janzen said the Royal Bank’s view was that some of the labor shortages in the market “will not really ease” for another decade as a large “population wave” of baby boomers reaches retirement age, an aspect that leads to greater dependency on immigration. .

Immigration does play a key role in Canada’s labor supply—including 84 percent of the total labor force growth during 2010, according to Statistics Canada – the country’s decision to raise its targets at a time when housing prices are high has been criticized in some quarters.

But Janzen said Canada’s housing shortage was caused by “red tape” rather than immigration. “It’s difficult and expensive to get projects off the ground,” he said. “And if that’s the case, the problem isn’t immigration, the problem is efficiency.”

• By e-mail: nkarim@postmedia.com | Twitter:

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