Why is Immigrants’ Access to Employment lower in Montreal than in Toronto?
This paper explores reasons why the employment rate gap between immigrants and Canadian born individuals is larger in Montreal than in Toronto. A major reason is language: relative to Canadian born individuals, immigrants in Montreal are significantly less likely to know French than their Toronto counterparts to know English and their knowledge of French is less rewarded by employers than their Toronto counterparts’ knowledge of English. We also find that holding other factors constant, the performance of immigrants according to their countries of origin is remarkably similar in Montreal and Toronto: in both metropolitan areas, immigrants from Europe and India generally perform better than immigrants from China, Taiwan and Muslim countries. While we do not find any evidence that Quebec’s different immigration policy is causing the larger immigrant employment rate gap in Montreal, we cannot rule out the possibility that immigrants would be subject to more labour market discrimination in Montreal than in Toronto. However, this discrimination would be French language related as opposed to being ethnicity related. Results are generally similar for both male and female immigrants.
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