Posted on February 14, 2008

Asians Make It Work

Peter Zimonjic, National Bureau, February 14, 2008

Immigrants from Southeast Asia—and the Philippines in particular—integrate into the Canadian economy better than any other group, while those from Africa fare the worst, according to a new Statistics Canada study.

The study surveyed 650,000 immigrant households in Ontario, Quebec and British Columbia in 2006, and looked at three different groups: Those in the country for less than five years, from five to 10 years, and more than 10 years.

The survey showed that no matter how long someone from Southeast Asia was in Canada they managed to secure work and stay employed longer than any other group. The study also showed that immigrants from Africa had an unemployment rate four times higher than immigrants from the Philippines.

“About 99% of Filipinos working in Canada are fluent in English,” Gilmore said. “We also know that 80% of the Filipino workforce have a post-secondary diploma or a post-secondary degree, a figure higher than the national Canadian-born average, which is at about 60%.”



“English is the medium of instruction in the Philippines from grade school up to the college level and so this helps people to integrate,” Brillantes said, adding that the motivation to work is often tied to responsibilities.

“Filipinos know they cannot afford to slip up because they have the survival of their families back home to think about.”


“Because refugees are under such strain they do not always have all of their credentials with them, it is hard to track down their references and those things can make it harder for them to find work,” Gilmore said [Jason Gilmore, an analyst with StatsCan and author of the report].