Economic Impact of International Students in Canada
Canada has planned 465,000 Permanent Resident (PR) Admissions by 2023; 485,000 by 2024; and 500,000 by 2025 to give a much-required uplift to the Canadian economy. Students and immigrants are an integral part of Canada's economy and fill important in-demand positions. COVID-19 has affected tourism, hospitality, retail, import, export, oil, and travel industry. However, with the excellent vaccination process, things have started improving on the economic front and administrative assistant positions have seen an uptrend in companies that offer legal services and HR, and health safety departments.
As per the World Bank data, per-capita income in Canada is $51,690, which is sufficient to have a good lifestyle. Moreover, the unemployment rate in Canada has reached its lowest level signalling a growth in job opportunities for students as well as immigrants.
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Canada will invite 10,000 H1-B visa holders from the US by providing them open work permits. This move will immensely benefit Indians who are the largest beneficiaries of H1-B visas. As per the new policy, H1-B visa holders can work for any employer located in Canada. In addition, their spouses and dependents will be qualified to apply for a temporary residence visa, enabling them to get the necessary employment or study permits. The motive behind this move is to attract the skilled professionals who have suffered the brunt of recent layoffs. The news is a positive sign for international students and people who are looking to migrate to Canada as this news proves that the job market in Canada is healthy and that there is a good scope for skilled workers.
What this Means for International Students?
International students are extremely important to Canada's economy. The 6,40,000-strong international student community in Canada also creates a diverse environment on campuses across the country. They contribute a whopping $22 billion to the Canadian economy every year and also support 2,00,000 jobs.
The economic growth is expected to grow faster in the year 2023 as compared to previous years. The real GDP growth for Canada stood at 2.1% for 2022. The Canadian economy will see a lot of radical ups and downs as the change in government usually results in drastic measures being implied. Thankfully, the Trudeau government has relaxed policies concerning immigrants, so the Permanent Residency (PR) process should remain the same, and the intake of highly skilled workers should stay the same or increase.
Currently, the labour market is strong in Canada with the unemployment rate at a record low of 5% in 2023. Nearly 830,000 more Canadian are employed as compared to the period before the pandemic. Advances in technology are changing the nature of jobs, so, candidates need to have new knowledge and specific competencies.
Economic growth in Canada slowed down in the previous few years as the pandemic gave a serious blow to the world economy. However, the country is on a strong path to recovery as its economy has grown 103% of what it was before the pandemic. The service sector dominates the Canadian economy by employing almost 79% of its workforce and giving two-thirds of the country's GDP. The retail sector is the biggest employer that employs approximately 12% of the entire workforce. Apart from this, health, education, the internet, telecom, tourism, automobile, and aerospace engineering are some of the prominent sectors of the Canadian economy. Automobile sectors offers excellent placements after students study automobile courses in Canada.
Here are certain pointers about the Canadian economy (Source: Canada Budget 2023):
- There is a 56% decrease in the number of Canadians living in poverty.
- There has been a reduction in income inequality by 11%.
- Youth has more access to good jobs.
- 80% of the 15-64 year age group is participating in the workforce.
According to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) data for the year 2022, Canada saw 551,405 international students from 184 countries. Out of these, 226,450 students were Indian students, followed by 52,156 Chinese students. As Canada is further opening up its borders and its economy is gaining traction at the same time, this translates to more job opportunities for international students.
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