The economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic influenced the integration outcomes of immigrants – both recent immigrants and established immigrants in Canada. In general, these groups are more negatively affected by the COVID-19 crisis than those born in Canada, and these disparities create additional barriers to the integration process. Tracking the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on immigrants relative to the Canadian-born population with empirical evidence and incorporating this into the CIMI is especially critical. In order to explore this, two analyses have been conducted.

In the first analysis Impact of Covid-19 on Canadians – Crowdsourcing Data, data from the Statistics Canada crowdsourcing surveys was used to test the feasibility of building an index to analyze gaps between immigrants and non-immigrants. We attempted to match crowdsourcing data to some of the CIMI indicators and dimensions, looking at gaps between immigrants and non-immigrants across identity markers such as sex and visible minority status.

You may download this report from the link below.

Impact of COVID-19 on Canadians – Crowdsourcing data

The second analysis was focused on the CIMI economic dimension. Data from Statistics Canada’s 2019 and 2020 Labour Force Surveys was used to demonstrate how COVID-19 has affected the economic outcomes of immigrants, both recent and established.

Please use the drop-down menu below to access data from our second analysis. This will allow you to view information related to how Canada and its regions perform when immigrant economic outcomes are compared from one year prior to the COVID-19 crisis (2019), to during the COVID-19 crisis (2020). National level data includes the entire Canadian population. The data on this page is limited to the regions listed below due to sample size limitations.


Data below is based on the monthly Labour Force Surveys collected from January 2019 to December 2020.

Below you will find 1) CIMI Ranking/ Adjusted Data and 2) Unadjusted Data.


Ontario ranks #3 out of the 7 regions for immigrant economic integration in 2019 and #2 in 2020. It ranks lower when the gap between recent and established immigrants is compared (#6 in 2019 and #7 in 2020).

Ontario performs very well in economic indicators such as wages and full-time employment rate in 2020 but performs relatively poorly on the unemployment rate. When the gap between recent and established immigrants is analyzed, Ontario performs relatively poorly in almost all indicators.


See below for the breakdown of immigrants, recent and established, and the Canadian-born population in this region. Any blank in the chart indicates that the data is unavailable/statistically insignificant.  Please note that the data below does not control for socio-demographic characteristics, unlike our rankings above.

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Median weekly wages (full time)

Without accounting for socio-demographic differences, full-time recent immigrant workers consistently earned less than established immigrants prior to and during the pandemic. The gap varied from $84 to $217 in most survey months. Canadian-born earned more than immigrants during these two years in March 2020; there was a $131 difference.

Note: All wages seen here are before Consumer Price Index (CPI) adjustment

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Median weekly wages (part time)

Without accounting for socio-demographic differences, the wage gap between immigrants and the Canadian-born population has shrunk since the COVID-19 crisis. In December 2019, the gap was $43, but by December 2020, it decreased to $13. Recent immigrants were the group that generally had the lowest wage during these two years; in September 2019, the gap between them and established immigrants was $70.

Note: All wages seen here are before Consumer Price Index (CPI) adjustment

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Labour force participation

Without accounting for socio-demographic differences, over the survey months prior to and during the pandemic, established immigrant workers were more likely to participate in the labour force than recent immigrants. The gap was smaller between Canadian-born and immigrants (less than 4%). There was a drop in labour force participation in 2020 between February and April for all groups; the smallest decline was for the Canadian-born population (6.2%), and the largest for recent immigrants (7.6%).

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Employment rate

Without accounting for socio-demographic differences, recent immigrants were generally less likely to be employed than established immigrants in all the survey months leading up to and during the COVID-19 crisis. The gap was varying, but it never went below 5 percentage points; the highest was in June 2019, 10%. The difference between the employment rate of immigrants and non-immigrants was smaller (less than 4%). There was a significant fall in the employment rate across all groups in the three-month period from February to April 2020.

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Unemployment rate

Without accounting for socio-demographic differences, during the two-year period, recent immigrants were consistently more likely to be unemployed than established immigrants; the gap was largest at the beginning of the pandemic in May 2020, 7%. Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the unemployment rate went sharply up for all categories. The biggest jump in the unemployment rate was for recent immigrants (12%) and the smallest for the Canadian-born population (8%).

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Full-time employment rate

Without accounting for socio-demographic differences, immigrants were more likely to be employed full-time than the Canadian-born population prior to and during the pandemic. While the gap varied, it stayed relatively small (less than 5%). The gap between recent and established immigrants was similar (the largest gap was 5%). There was almost no difference in the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic from May to July 2020. The gap was less than 1 percentage point.

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