Employer Attitudes Towards Hiring Newcomers and International Students in the Atlantic Provinces

Lay Summary 

With declining fertility rates, an ageing population, and continued outmigration, Atlantic Canada is facing a population crisis. One of the chief solutions for this problem is to increase the number of immigrants to improve the demographic outlook of the region; the remote nature of the Atlantic provinces, combined with immigrants’ tendency to seek residency in larger cities such as Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver, results in fewer immigrants to these provinces than to the rest of Canada. Retention is also a challenge, as immigrants will leave if they do not find favourable conditions in their new home.


A massive driver of immigration and perhaps the most important factor in determining immigrant retention is employment. Ensuring that immigrants can find meaningful employment upon their arrival is paramount to enhancing the benefits of immigration and ensuring that skill and labour gaps in the local economy are filled.


Based on a survey of 801 employers across the Atlantic provinces prior to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, this study examines labour market conditions in Atlantic Canada and employer tendencies and attitudes towards hiring newcomers and international students. It also seeks to explore the effects that newcomers have on organizations, the characteristics organizations possess that result in them seeking to employ these individuals, and the challenges that arise when organizations employ these individuals. This study also aims to provide insights into how immigrant employment and skill matchmaking in the economy can be improved.


A short, plain-language report summary can be found here


The full report can be found here


Adapted from https://www.mun.ca/harriscentre/ACOA_Immigration_Fang.pdf

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency - Atlantic Policy Research Initiative
Public Policy Forum: Immigration & Atlantic Revitalization
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Prince Edward Island
New Brunswick
International Students
Industry Sectors 
Retail Trade
Wholesale Trade
Accommodation and Food Services
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services
Information and Cultural Industries
Arts, Entertainment and Recreation
Finance and Insurance
Health Care and Social Assistance
Educational Services
Public Administration
Transportation and Warehousing
Administrative and Support, Waste Management and Remediation Services
Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction
Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting
Other Services (except Public Administration)
Start date 
1 Apr 2021