Sat. Jun 22nd, 2024

Economic and Social Reports Analysis

By Fatih Sahin May22,2024

The latest edition of Economic and Social Reports of Statistics Canada, provides a comprehensive examination of various socio-economic issues currently affecting Canada. The six newly published articles delve into critical topics ranging from housing conditions for international students to the impact of high inflation on the Canadian economy.

The first article, “Housing international students: Housing suitability across municipalities,” reveals significant disparities in the living conditions of international students compared to their Canadian-born counterparts. In 2021, international students were more likely to reside in unsuitable housing, particularly in Brampton, Ontario, where 63% lived in such conditions, followed by Surrey, British Columbia, at 61%. Calgary, Alberta, had the lowest rate at 25%.

These discrepancies are largely attributed to the students’ countries of origin, with a high concentration of Indian students in Brampton and Surrey experiencing the most significant housing challenges. The changing demographics of the international student population since 2021 underscore the necessity for ongoing monitoring and policy intervention to address housing suitability for this group.

The second article, “Pathways of Black, Latin American and other population groups in bachelor’s degree programs,” examines the educational trajectories of different population groups. Black and Latin American students exhibit the lowest rates of full-time enrollment and graduation within six years, with 57% of Black men and 68% of Black women graduating, compared to 71% and 79% for White men and women, respectively.

In contrast, Chinese students excel in both enrollment and graduation rates, particularly in STEM fields. The disparities in educational attainment among these groups are partly responsible for the observed differences in earnings and labor market outcomes, suggesting a need for targeted educational support programs.

“Trends in education–occupation mismatch among recent immigrants with a bachelor’s degree or higher, 2001 to 2021,” discusses the decline in over-education among recent immigrants. The rate of immigrants holding qualifications higher than their job requirements decreased from 31% in 2016 to 27% in 2021. This improvement is attributed to stronger demand for high-skilled workers and changes in immigrant selection processes.

However, despite these improvements, the long-term trend shows that the match rates between education and occupation for recent immigrants have not significantly improved over the past two decades, highlighting ongoing challenges in the labor market integration of highly educated immigrants.

The fourth article, “Active presence of immigrants in Canada: Recent trends in tax filing and employment incidence,” addresses the engagement of immigrants in Canadian society. The study finds an increase in the rates of tax filing and employment among immigrants, with 90% of those arriving in 2020 filing taxes in their first year, up from 85% for those arriving between 2005 and 2009. Employment incidence also rose from 63% to 76% over the same period.

These positive trends indicate a growing active presence of immigrants, suggesting successful integration into the Canadian economy and society. This data is crucial for understanding immigrant retention and addressing concerns about potential emigration.

The fifth article, “Survival and growth of women-owned and immigrant-owned businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic,” explores the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on businesses based on ownership demographics. Women-owned and immigrant-owned businesses were more likely to close during the first year of the pandemic compared to men-owned and Canadian-owned businesses, respectively.

The closure rate gap was particularly notable among businesses that did not utilize the Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy (CEWS). This finding underscores the need for targeted support measures to enhance the resilience of these vulnerable business groups in times of economic crisis.

The final article, “High Inflation in 2022 in Canada: Demand–pull or supply–push?” analyzes the causes of the high inflation experienced in 2022. The study attributes 54.0% of the inflation to supply shocks, particularly due to the war in Ukraine and supply chain disruptions. Demand shocks accounted for the remaining portion, driven by pent-up demand following the lifting of COVID-19 restrictions.

The primary contributors to inflation were essential goods and services, such as food and fuels, exacerbating financial pressures on households. Understanding the sources of inflation can inform future policy responses to mitigate similar economic challenges.

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