This article examines trends in the admission and labour market outcomes of economic immigrant principal applicants who intended to work in skilled trades.
The admission of skilled trades immigrants increased rapidly in the late 2000s and early 2010s, as the immigration selection system responded to an apparent increase in demand for skilled tradespeople at that time. Skilled trades immigrants had a substantially higher incidence of employment than other economic immigrant principal applicants in the initial years after admission. In the longer term, their employment advantage remained but was reduced for skilled trades immigrant men. Over time, the advantage disappeared for women.
Skilled trades immigrants had a much slower earnings growth after admission than other economic immigrants. The factors affecting earnings were somewhat different for skilled trades immigrants. Notably, the positive effects on earnings of holding a university degree, having a greater proficiency in an official language and having pre-admission Canadian work experience were much weaker among skilled trades immigrants than among other economic immigrants.
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