The pandemic has hit the Canadian economy hard. Unemployment surges as economic growth stagnates. Fears of second or third or fourth wave. Such horror headlines can make skilled workers fear whether their Canada immigration dream will ever come true.
Well, don’t base your decision upon sensational headlines. Instead, read ahead for a detailed province-by-province analysis of Canada’s economic and immigration prospects and plan your Canada job offer and immigration strategy accordingly.
Canada’s most populous province has been hit the hardest by the Covid-19 pandemic. Immigration admissions fell from 153,000 in 2019 to just 82,000 in 2020. GDP contracted by 6.2 percent in 2020 and big cities like Toronto were hit by restrictions that lasted for much of the year.
However, a closer look at the numbers shows that things are not as bad as feared. Immigration fell but Ontario’s share in total immigration in Canada remained unchanged at 45 percent. This means the province continues to be the preferred destination for foreign skilled workers.
2021 forecast sees a 5.6 percent growth in Ontario’s GDP along with a 5.7 percent jump in employment in the province.
The province boasts of the fastest-growing tech hub in North America. Further, Ontario is one of the three provinces preferred by Express Entry applicants. Ontario’s economy should rebound quickly once skilled worker and business immigration picks pace.
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A 4.7 percent drop in the province’s GDP means BC has been hit hard by the pandemic. However, 2021 forecasts a 4.9 percent recovery and the province has already recovered a large number of the jobs it lost.
In fact, BC shows an increase in employment in the first month of 2021 even as the Central Canada region continued to register job losses.
BC’s recovery will be aided by the fact that it is among the top-three provinces preferred by EE applicants. Further, the province fiscal condition is better than other provinces, which means the government can opt for a bigger and longer stimulus to boost economic recovery.
Manitoba’s economy shrank by 4 percent in 2020 but the recovery is expected to be stronger at 4.3 percent in 2021. Despite a surge in cases during autumn, the province has a very low number of cases in proportion to its population.
This means workers in sectors hit hardest by the pandemic can expect a strong recovery as the province shakes off the aftereffects of the pandemic.
Alberta is set to be hit hardest not just because of the pandemic but the sharp decline in oil prices through 2020.
Oil and natural gas is a significant contributor to the province’s GDP. Despite a 11% contraction in 2020, the future outlook is likely to be good because oil prices have recovered across the world.
This means demand for oil and gas sector workers will rise and skilled workers in related occupations must focus on Express Entry as well as Alberta’s Provincial Nomination Program to ride the recovery boom.
The Atlantic Provinces
Geographical isolation along with their low population densities worked to the advantage of the four Atlantic provinces. These provinces have a very low number of cases in proportion to their total population
New Brunswick managed to avoid shutdown measures for a long period of time and this led to a very shallow recession as compared to other provinces. Nova Scotia too enjoyed the same advantage and its service sector is likely to rebound faster once the economy opens up.
One significant advantage these four provinces enjoy is the Atlantic Immigration Pilot program. Businesses in these four provinces will find it very easy to attract skilled talent and even foreign students once the immigration situation normalizes.
As you can see, negative headlines don’t tell the real picture as far as the Canadian economy is concerned. To benefit from the recovery, you must
- Assess your eligibility for not just Express Entry but all PNP streams as well
- Explore the study permit route to build up your Canadian experience
- Deploy steps to boost your CRS score to ensure you are ready when draws and other immigration processes normalize.
- Work with an experienced immigration lawyer to boost your chances of getting a job offer from an eligible Canadian employer.