Friday, December 19th1.0°C
24124
23791

Use of temporary foreign workers in Atlantic tripled from 2005-2012: report

HALIFAX - The use of temporary foreign workers tripled in Atlantic Canada between 2005 and 2012, says a new report that warns changes to the controversial program could make it more difficult for businesses to use it.

The report by the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council said the number of foreign workers in the region rose to 10,913 in 2012 from 3,499 on Dec. 1, 2005.

David Chaundy, a senior economist with the think-tank, said Wednesday he attributes the increase to continued outmigration and a declining labour pool in rural areas that have lost manufacturing jobs.

"I think employers are finding it increasingly difficult to find some of the workers with the skills they need in Canada," he said. "That's why they've turned to use this program to a greater extent than they have in the past."

He added that 56 per cent of temporary foreign workers are employed in rural areas outside the six largest provincial centres, which contrasts to the 20 per cent of immigrants who live outside urban centres.

Still, Chaundy says temporary foreign workers account for a small percentage of the overall labour force in the area.

In 2012, temporary foreign workers represented one per cent of total employment in the Atlantic region, compared with 1.9 per cent nationally, he said.

The council said the largest increases were in lower-paying, lower-skill occupations, such as fish plant and food service workers. Chaundy said that's likely due to changes made in 2002 that allowed the program to be used for lower skilled jobs.

The report said the number of temporary foreign workers employed in fish plants in Atlantic Canada grew from five in 2005 to 960 in 2012, with 90 per cent of them working in New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

Chaundy also said the federal temporary foreign worker program continues to be an important tool for the recruitment of managerial, professional or specialized technical workers needed for short-term work.

But that might become more difficult if the federal government alters the program significantly, he said, following allegations of abuse by companies that fired Canadian employees in favour of cheaper foreign workers.

Federal Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced a moratorium on hiring new temporary foreign workers in the food service industry last month and new rule changes are expected soon.

The temporary foreign worker program has ballooned under the Conservatives.

As many as 338,000 temporary workers are employed across the country, up from about 100,000 people in 2002. In 2013 alone, Ottawa approved about 240,000 temporary foreign workers.

The program allows Canadian employers to hire foreign nationals to fill temporary labour and skill shortages when qualified Canadian citizens or permanent residents are not available.

Follow @alison_auld on Twitter.

The Canadian Press


Read more Business News

21297


Recent Trending




Today's Market
S&P TSX14346.75+133.36
S&P CDNX665.50+6.47
DJIA17778.15421.28
Nasdaq4748.396+104.085
S&P 5002061.23+48.34
CDN Dollar0.8620-0.0013
Gold1196.50+1.80
Oil54.59+0.48
Lumber336.00-0.90
Natural Gas3.622-0.02

 
Okanagan Companies
Pacific Safety0.13+0.005
Knighthawk0.01-0.005
QHR Technologies Inc1.28+0.01
Cantex0.03-0.005
Anavex Life Sciences0.17+0.0041
Metalex Ventures0.055+0.005
Russel Metals26.00-1.18
Copper Mountain Mining1.57+0.03
Colorado Resources0.12+0.015
ReliaBrand Inc0.011-0.0089
Sunrise Resources Ltd0.055+0.005
Mission Ready Services0.225+0.005

 
23744


24153

FEATURED Property
20855423418 McIver Road
4 bedrooms 3 baths
$368,900
more details
image2image2image2
Click here to feature your property
Please wait... loading


Parenthood: Estates, insurance & taxes

It is now even more important to ensure your loved ones are well looked if anything should happen to you. Here are a few topics to consider helping you prepare for some of the unexpected events that c...


Managing your sales team

Managing a sales team can be quite a challenge. Harnessing individual personality preferences and getting everyone focused on the same goals, moving at the same pace, and working in collaboration to d...


Working under the table

They say there are only two things that are certain in life: death and taxes. Not exactly an uplifting thought, but true nonetheless. Some people try to avoid paying tax by “working under the ta...

_





24111


Member of BC Press Council


23860