Immigration Has Tended To Lower Wages In Both Canada And U.S.: Study

Canadian Press (Ottawa), May 25, 2007

A new study says immigration has tended to lower wages in both Canada and the United States, but it found the impact of immigrants on the wages of domestic workers depends to a large extent on the newcomers’ skills.

In 2001, about four in 10 people with more than an undergraduate degree were immigrants in Canada compared to about one in five in the United States.

That’s curtailed the earnings growth of the most-educated Canadians relative to the least-educated, while the opposite has happened in the United States.

A significantly higher proportion of immigrants to the United States have been much less skilled so these newcomers have depressed the earnings of low-paid Americans and increased the gap relative to the highest paid.

In Canada, immigration has tempered the gap between rich and poor but in the United States, it has exacerbated it.

Between 1980 and 2000, immigration increased the male labour force by 13.2 per cent in Canada and 11.1 per cent in the United States, while in Mexico the male workforce shrunk by 14.6 per cent.

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