June 2020: Changes in labour market activities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic could have different effects on immigrant workers compared to Canadian-born workers based on the nature of their employment. In particular, immigrants are more likely to work in precarious employment positions because their foreign credentials, lack of language proficiency, and lack of Canadian work experience excludes them from other more secure employment opportunities. Precarious employment is defined by concerns over employment continuity, access to social benefits, and financial insecurity. It is reasonable to assume that these employment inequities and associated health consequences are magnified during the uncertainty of a
We conducted an analysis of employment and economic concerns of immigrant workers compared to Canadian-born workers, and investigated if employment concern impacted perceived mental health, using the Statistics Canada Canadian Perspectives Survey Series 1, a new web panel survey that was conducted for two weeks in March after the COVID-19 pandemic began.
Despite similar labour force characteristics at the time of the survey in terms of employment rate and ability to work remotely/teleworking, immigrants were more likely than Canadian-born workers to believe that they would lose their job as a result of the pandemic and more likely to report that the crisis would have a major or moderate impact on their finances. As a result, immigrant workers were also more likely to have applied for, or to have received, financial and social benefits. Concerns over job security due to COVID-19 were also associated with higher differences in perceived mental health status among immigrant workers.
Download our research brief with more results of our analysis: Research Brief: Impact of COVID-19 on employment and financial security of immigrant workers compared to Canadian-born workers