Temporary Foreign Workers do not Deflate Average Wages (Updated)

20th Apr 2011 Comments Off on Temporary Foreign Workers do not Deflate Average Wages (Updated)

On April 20, 2011, the Vancouver Sun published an article by David Green titled “Are there too many Foreign Workers?”

The article notes that from 2004 to 2008, the number of Temporary Foreign Workers admitted to Canada increased from 112,543 to 192,281.  (In 2010 the number was 182,322.)

I take issue with numerous aspects of the article, including:

  • It completely ignores the causation between the introduction of the Post-Graduation Work Permit and the increase in the number of Temporary Foreign Workers.  Prior to 2006, foreign students in Canada could not apply for an open work-permit upon graduation.  This is no longer the case, and many of the over 150,000 foreign students in Canada each year apply for and receive these permits.
  • The article does not mention that temporary foreign workers who decide to become permanent residents are likely more able to integrate than those who simply enter on a Family Class or Federal Skilled Worker Program visa.  The reason is simple.  Temporary foreign workers are already established, have already began to integrate into Canadian society, and have developed a network within Canada.

However, the biggest issue that I have with Mr. Green’s article, and the main objective of today’s post, is to address the misconception that Temporary Foreign Workers are hired because employers do not want to pay higher wages to Canadian citizens and permanent residents.

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