Canada’s Post-COVID-19 Economic Recovery Will Need Immigrants to Fill Jobs

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Canada’s Post-COVID-19 Economic Recovery Will Need Immigrants to Fill Jobs
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A massive demand will be created for immigrants to fill vacant jobs as Canada’s economy surges later this year, helped by the wide distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. 

In its latest economic forecast, the Conference Board of Canada states the country’s economy is expected to make a full recovery from the economic hit it took during the global pandemic in 2020 and the start of 2021.

“The next two will be good years for the labour market, with employment rising by 801,000 in 2021 and 499,000 in 2022,” states the Conference Board.

In ‘Recovery Rests on Vaccine Rollout: Canada’s Two-Year Outlook’, the Conference Board notes the Canadian economy has already recovered 2.4 million of the three million jobs lost to the pandemic.


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The economic think-tank admits the economy will be sluggish for the first part of the year and the full recovery will only come about in the latter half, once COVID-19 vaccines are widely distributed. 

When it comes later this year, though, the recovery will be robust with the Conference Board forecasting GDP growth of 5.3 per cent in 2021 and 3.5 per cent in 2022.

COVID-19 Vaccines Fuelling Optimism For Economic Recovery

“The news that safe and effective vaccines against COVID-19 have begun to be distributed has provided optimism that the pandemic could soon be beaten,” says Pedro Antunes, the Conference Board’s chief economist.

The jobs that will come with that economic recovery will mean opportunity for foreign nationals seeking to immigrate to Canada and international students already here who will be looking for Canadian work permits upon graduation.

“We expect the labour market to add 238,000 jobs in the third quarter and 226,000 in the fourth quarter (of this year),” reports the Conference Board. “Much of this job growth will come from industries that had been held back by the pandemic-related restrictions, led by the accommodation and food services industry, segments of the information, culture, and recreation industries, and air transportation.”

Canada Hoping to Welcome 1.2 Million Immigrants in 3 Years

Ottawa is bullish on immigration and wants to welcome more than 1.2 million newcomers between 2021 and 2023. 

There are to be 401,000 new permanent residents to Canada this year, 411,000 next year, and 421,000 in 2023.

“Immigration is essential to getting us through the pandemic, but also to our short-term economic recovery and our long-term economic growth,” Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino has said. “Canadians have seen how newcomers are playing an outsized role in our hospitals and care homes and helping us to keep food on the table.

“As we look to recovery, newcomers create jobs not just by giving our businesses the skills they need to thrive, but also by starting businesses themselves,” he said. “Our plan will help to address some of our most acute labour shortages and to grow our population to keep Canada competitive on the world stage.”

Foreign nationals hoping to move to Canada and make this country their permanent residence will find the doors wide open in the latter half of this year as labour market shortages appear.

Real Estate Sales Hot

Even during the pandemic when retail, tourism and the hospitality sector were hit hard by public health restrictions, including social distancing and lockdowns, there were bright spots in the Canadian economy. One of them was the real estate sector.

“Housing markets have been red hot despite the pandemic and its economic fallout. Canada’s existing housing markets have more than recovered from the spring lockdowns, and many are in a sellers’ state,” notes the Conference Board. 

“The bounce-back continues to be fuelled by ultra-low interest rates and decent job growth, combined with healthy support from governments and financial institutions.”

Investment in Canadian real estate rose by an estimated three per cent in 2020 and is forecast to jump by seven per cent this year.

Retail sales have already largely bounced back from the COVID-19 doldrums.

“Real household spending recovered to 95 per cent of its pre-pandemic level in the third quarter, driven largely by the pent-up demand for goods as consumers decided to purchase many of the products that weren’t available to them in the spring due to stay-at-home directives and outlet closures” notes the Conference Board. “In particular, spending on durable goods in the third quarter was 7.7 per cent higher than its pre-Covid level.”

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