International students aren’t making as much money as their Canadian classmates in the first years after graduation, report suggests

Significant study on the importance of work experience:

Despite equal Canadian education credentials, international students earn less than their Canadian peers after graduation, Statistics Canada says.

That’s because they fail to secure enough local work experience before they graduate, data from the agency indicates.

International students earned “considerably” less than domestic students during their first five years after graduation, said a report released Wednesday in collaboration with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

“Fewer years of pre-graduation work experience and lower levels of pre-graduation earnings among international students accounted for most of their observed disadvantage in post-graduation earnings.”

This revelation will be crucial for Canada to address as the federal government has increasingly drawn on its pool of international students as future immigrants. In 2019 alone, more than 58,000 international graduates successfully applied to immigrate permanently.

They are favoured over immigrants who are traditionally selected directly from abroad because they’re generally younger and have more years to contribute to the labour market after immigration. There is also less uncertainty about their quality of education and language ability, and little barrier related to credential recognition when joining the labour force.

Based on Canada’s Post-secondary Student Information System and tax data, researchers compared early labour-market outcomes and sociodemographic information of international students and domestic students who graduated from post-secondary institutions between 2010 and 2012.

International students comprised six per cent or 66,800 of the sample, with Canadian citizen and permanent resident students accounting for 87 per cent and seven per cent of the population (about 927,700 and 71,900), respectively. The classification was based on the students’ immigration status at their time of graduation.

Overall, 43.6 per cent of international students had no Canadian work experience prior to graduation, compared with 2.2 per cent of Canadian citizens and 9.7 per cent of permanent resident students.

The average number of years of pre-graduation work experience was 6.2 for Canadian citizen students, 3.9 for permanent resident students and just 1.2 for international students.

Four in 10 domestic students earned more than $20,000 in a year before graduation, whereas only one in 10 international students did so.

One year after graduation, the income gaps between international graduates and Canadian citizens were larger for graduates with an advanced degree than for their international peers with a lower education. The difference was about 10 per cent for bachelor’s degree holders and 40 per cent for the ones with master’s degrees.

However, by the fifth year, the gap narrowed for international students with graduate degrees, while it increased over time for their peers with a bachelor’s degree or college diploma only.

International students had lower earnings on average than domestic students in many fields of study, with a few exceptions where they had similar earnings: visual and performing arts, and communications technologies; humanities; health and related fields.

For the four most popular fields of study among international students, graduates from the STEM fields (architecture, engineering and related technologies; and mathematics, computer and information sciences) suffered a smaller earnings gap than their non-STEM peers in business, management and public administration; and social and behavioural sciences and law.

The disadvantage faced by international students in securing pre-graduation work experience can be explained by language proficiency, cultural differences, concentration in fields of study, course grades, employers’ reluctance to recruit and train job applicants with temporary residency status, and possible employer discrimination, the study suggested.

“International students may face these barriers when looking for a job while studying, before they formally enter the labour market, and after they graduate,” it said. “Another possible answer is the difference in participation rates between domestic and international students in work-integrated learning (which) provides participating students the benefits of workplace-related skill accumulation and connections to potential employers.”

International students lack knowledge about the local labour market, have limited local networks, and face financial barriers, such as relocation costs and the additional tuition fees required for delayed graduation — all contributing to their lower participation in internship and co-op, said the report.

Although the federal government has relaxed the off-campus employment rules for international students during school year since 2014 by allowing them to work up to 20 hours a week without requiring a work permit, they still have limited access to government-sponsored student hiring programs where priorities are given to Canadians.

“The disadvantage for international students in pre-graduation work experience hampers their ability to compete for a high-paying, high-quality job after graduation,” said the report.

“The results of this study imply that policies to reduce the pre-graduation work-experience gap are crucial to reducing the post-graduation earnings gap between international and domestic students.”

Source: International students aren’t making as much money as their Canadian classmates in the first years after graduation, report suggests

Police forces across Canada are still overwhelmingly white and male, new report shows

Long standing issue. Numbers in larger cities are of course better than those in smaller cities:

Canada’s police forces are far behind in being representative of the populations they serve, new data from Statistics Canada shows.

According to data on police resources in Canada for 2019 released Tuesday, police services across the country are overwhelmingly white and male. They still have low numbers when it comes to officers identifying as women, visible minorities and Indigenous.

The population of older police officers has also been climbing since data on age was first collected in 2012. Officers over the age of 50 made up 18 per cent of officers in 2019.

The amount of women police officers has been on the rise since 1986, when gender data was first collected and they accounted for just 4 per cent of officers.

Between 2018 and 2019, the amount of women rose by 325, making them a total of 22 per cent of all police officers. That is still behind considering women account for half of the total population.

Representation of Indigenous police officers across the country was approaching parity with the total population: four per cent of officers and three per cent of recruits self-identified as Indigenous. Five per cent of the country’s population is Indigenous.

Meanwhile, visible minorities are drastically under represented, accounting for just eight per cent of officers and 11 per cent of new recruits in 2019. Visible minorities are 22.3 per cent of the population according to the 2016 census.

Among the police services where the percentage of visible minority officers was higher, it was still about half as much as the region’s entire population of visible minorities.

The percentage of visible minority officers was 26 per cent in Vancouver, 26 per cent in Toronto and 19 per cent in York Region, while the 2016 census shows the overall population of visible minorities is 48 per cent, 51 per cent and 49 per cent, respectively.

In August, the Ontario Human Rights Commission declared that based on investigations into the Toronto Police Service, Black people were disproportionately likely to be arrested, charged, injured or killed by police, despite being only eight per cent of the city’s population.

The Commission called on the service, the police board and the city to formally establish a process with Black communities and the OHRC “to adopt legally binding remedies” to change the practices and culture of policing, and “eliminate systemic racism and anti-Black racial bias in policing.”

The new data from Statistics Canada did not specify how many Canadian officers identified as white, but subtracting Indigenous and visible minorities, the proportion of officers that remain is 88 per cent and 86 per cent of recruits.

The race of police officers can have an impact on the experience of members of the communities they police. For example in the U.S., researcher Mark Hoekstraexamined more than two million 911 calls in two U.S. cities and found that white officers dispatched to Black neighbourhoods fired their guns five times more oftenthan Black officers sent on similar calls in similar neighbourhoods.

Source: Police forces across Canada are still overwhelmingly white and male, new report shows

Diversity of Charity and Non-profit Boards: Statistics Canada Survey

This is a significant and needed survey that Senator Omidvar is championing with Statistics Canada, as she notes below:

I’ve been working closely with Statistics Canada and sector leaders on this important initiative and I am really excited that this will be the first-ever national snapshot of board diversity in the charitable sector. It’s crucial to collect and track this data in order for charities and non-profits to take an intentional approach towards increasing diversity on their boards so that they reflect the diversity of Canada.

Better data helps identify under-representation and opportunities to ensure that charities and non-profit organizations better reflect the communities they serve and I urge those of you on boards to take the time and submit the questionnaire.

A Message from Statistics Canada
The objective of this crowdsourcing initiative is to understand who serves on the boards of charity and non-profit organizations. In addition to collecting information about the diversity of board members, we explore topics such as what organizations do, who they serve, and where they are located. This information will help charities and non-profits better understand how their board compares to those of similar organizations.
Your participation is important: Your voice matters 
We want to hear from you, whether you sit on a board of directors or are involved in the governance of charities or non-profits. Please take a few minutes to complete the questionnaire and feel free to forward this email to your peers—the more people participate, the better the data.
Participating is easy and secure 
Click this link to participate:
This data collection is conducted under the authority of the Statistics Act, which ensures that the information you provide will be kept confidential, and used only for statistical and research purposes.
For general enquiries and technical assistance 
Contact us Monday to Friday (except holidays), from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (Eastern Time):1-877-949-9492 (TTY: 1-800-363-7629*)*If you use an operator-assisted relay service, you can call us during regular business hours. You do not need to authorize the operator to contact us.
For more information about the data collection visit:

‘There is no playbook in dealing with the pandemic’: how StatsCan has mobilized around urgent COVID-19 data collection

Of interest:

With the majority of people at Statistics Canada still working from home amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency has been working to become more agile in its collection of disaggregated data and the disproportionate effects of the crisis on vulnerable communities, according to Tina Chui, acting director of diversity and social statistics.

“There is no playbook in dealing with the pandemic,” said Ms. Chui. “I think we’ve become a lot more agile, and StatsCan has been undergoing modernization for a number of years, which allowed us to springboard into more innovative ways of doing things.”

The impact of the pandemic has been spread unevenly across the Canadian population, particularly pertaining to people from vulnerable communities and marginalized groups.

“Because of that, we have really mobilized to collect as much information as possible,” said Ms. Chui. “We have been investing our efforts in a number of modernization initiatives for a number of years already, which actually helped us to prepare for the pandemic response.”

Ms. Chui said that during the initial stages of the pandemic, senior management within Statistics Canada took “calculated risks and made some tough choices” to adapt the agency’s response to urgent data needs, including everything from information around mental health to the impact on businesses to enable people to better navigate the impact of the damage.

Crowdsourcing, web panels used for COVID-19 data collection

The agency has engaged in a number of crowdsourcing pushes throughout the pandemic, with first results on the impacts of COVID-19 on Canadians coming in between April 3 and April 24, followed by a focus on the impacts of the pandemic on postsecondary students from April 19 to May 1.

The focus then shifted to the collection of data surrounding the mental health of Canadians from April 24 to May 11; Canadians’ perceptions of personal safety from May 12 to May 25; trust in government, public health authorities and businesses from May 26 to June 8; as well as the impact of COVID-19 on Canadian families and children from June 9 to June 22.

Most recently, crowdsourcing was used to analyze the impacts of the pandemic on Canadians living with long-term conditions and disabilities from June 23 to July 6, finishing with a push to determine Canadians’ experiences of discrimination from August 4 to August 18.

Web panels have also been used from March 29 through to September 20 to collect data around the impacts of the pandemic, resuming economic and social activities, information sources consulted by Canadians, as well as technology use and cyber security.

From Jan. 25 to Feb. 1, the agency will be looking into substance use and stigmatization within the context of the pandemic as well.

“We really used those two sources in the last few months to collect very timely information,” said Ms. Chui. “Since the lockdown in mid-March, we worked very quickly to put some new surveys through crowdsource and web panel methods to collect data.”

‘We had to mobilize very quickly’

The federal government introduced its anti-racism strategy in June 2019, designed to unroll from 2019 to 2022 at the cost of $45-million.

Statistics Canada’s role within that strategy is to “support the data and evidence pillar,” said Ms. Chui. “Fast forward to the pandemic: we do need this real-time [data], we had to mobilize very quickly, so how can we leverage the existing work to monitor how Canadians are dealing with the pandemic?”

Calling the agency’s Labour Force Survey their “mission critical program,” Ms. Chui said new questions have been recently added to get a better sense for the impact on visible minority populations.

“That’s how we can find monthly data of COVID on employment,” said Ms. Chui. “Unfortunately we’re still deep in the second wave, but when we’re going through the recovery, certain communities will have a lot more to gain back, so with the monthly survey, we’ll be able to better monitor the situation.”

According to the most recent Labour Force Survey that reflects labour market conditions as of the week of Nov. 8 to 14, growth was “variable across demographic groups.”

Among Canadians aged 15 to 69, according to the report released on Dec. 4, the unemployment rate of those designated as a visible minority decreased 1.5 per cent to 10.2 per cent in November.

Beginning in July, the survey now includes a question asking respondents to report the population groups to which they belong. Possible responses, which are the same as in the 2016 census, include, White, South Asian (e.g., East Indian, Pakistani, Sri Lankan), Chinese, Black, Filipino, Arab, Latin American, Southeast Asian (e.g., Vietnamese, Cambodian, Laotian, Thai), West Asian (e.g., Iranian, Afghan), Korean, Japanese, or Other, according to Statistics Canada’s website.

Long-form census scheduled for 2021

In his mandate letter from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s (Papineau, Que.) office, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry Navdeep Bains is responsible for preparing for the long-form census in 2021, including the collection and analysis of disaggregated data.

Ms. Chui said the census is the government’s “best source for disaggregated data.”

“For instance, when we look at socio-economic outcomes of women, we cannot just look at women, because socio-economic outcomes are tied very closely together with age, because age is a proxy for lifecycle,” said Ms. Chui. “So we have to look at the combinations of sex and age, and we can still drill further [into regions]. Then you can further drill into women in their prime working age, who are members of a visible minority.”

“The census is such a big data source that it will allow us to drill down into that level of detail, while also allowing us to protect the privacy and confidentiality of respondents,” said Ms. Chui.

According to the department, the census will contain new content to better identify individuals’ sex at birth, gender, veteran status, religion, registered members of Métis organization or settlements, as well as those enrolled under or a beneficiary of an Inuit lands claim agreement.

Pandemic has highlighted ‘pre-existing inequalities in our society,’ says expert

Malinda Smith, a professor at the University of Alberta who has also sat on Statistics Canada’s Expert Working Group on Black Communities in Canada, told The Hill Times that the pandemic has highlighted the pre-existing inequalities in our society, and “aggravated them for people who are on the front lines, people you see were marginalized, but now we recognize are essential.”

University of Alberta professor Malinda Smith says ‘what Statistics Canada can do from a national point of view is provide clear categories and a coherent strategy where we have data that is collected and comparable.’

There was a need for better race-based data prior to the pandemic in relation to policing, according to Prof. Smith—a need that has been amplified as result of the pandemic.

“What this has all shown is that across the country, across the provinces, is very uneven data collection, and what Statistics Canada can do from a national point of view is provide clear categories and a coherent strategy where we have data that is collected and comparable.”

“And this is as, if not more important—the information will be able to help evaluate initiatives and programs and policies to assess their differential impact, and then to design interventions that will properly address them,” said Prof. Smith.

“Right now, a once-size-fits-all strategy doesn’t allow you to do that, and the uneven data collection doesn’t allow you to even identify hotspots,” said Prof. Smith. “My view is that even though this is framed as an anti-racism strategy, it might just as well be framed in terms of a systematic commitment to what an equitable, inclusive society looks like.”

Source: ‘There is no playbook in dealing with the pandemic’: how StatsCan has mobilized around urgent COVID-19 data collection

‘A pandemic of grief’: StatCan’s first-ever data on Black victims of homicide prompts calls for targeted trauma services

Important to have this data and the findings to drive home the need for change:

For the first time ever, Statistics Canada has released race-based homicide data that reveals a stark representation of Black Canadians among homicide victims in 2019, prompting calls for targeted mental health programming for members of the Black community.

StatCan’s 2019 homicide data, released on Oct. 29, shows one-third of homicide victims were visible minorities — 44 per cent of whom were identified as Black, yet Black people account for only 3.4 per cent of the Canadian population.

In Toronto, the numbers are more stark: 51 per cent of the city’s population identify as visible minorities, yet visible minorities made up 75 per cent of homicide victims.

The numbers come amid a year marked by more than 425 shootings to-date in Toronto that led to 201 deaths or injuries, many of which occurred in Black Creek and York University Heights, where a large population of African, Caribbean and Black Canadians call home — and where a shooting on Saturday claimed the life of a 12-year-old boy, who succumbed to his injuries Wednesday.

StatCan’s data are the first federal numbers released on the race of homicide victims in Canada specific to Black Canadians — information that has long been readily-available in the United States.

But it affirms what many have known all along, researchers say: there is disproportionate and widespread grief among African, Caribbean and Black communities in Canada that must be addressed.

“This is a pattern of inequity that has created a pandemic of grief, and we have a responsibility to address those structures that are contributing to this,” said Dr. Tanya Sharpe, an associate professor at the University of Toronto and the Factor-Inwentash Chair in Social Work in the Global Community.

Sharpe said the stark homicide rates have had a “devastating impact” on the mental, physical and spiritual well-being of communities of colour who are disproportionately forced to cope with the murder of their loved ones. She estimates that, on average, each homicide leaves behind seven to 10 friends and family members struggling with grief.

“It often presents itself in the form of complicated, elongated grief of emotional numbing, lack of motivation and traumatic stress reactions, depression, hypervigilance, anxiety and insomnia,” Sharpe said.

Research Sharpe has done on African-American communities in the United States found the homicide of a loved one leads to symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. It also ignites feelings of shame and guilt, both for the inability to protect the victim and due to stigma and racism Black communities face as a whole.

Sharpe, who is from Baltimore, has dedicated the last two years to researching and studying the impact of homicide on Toronto’s Black population. She said initially, the lack of race-based data collection in Canada astonished her.

“That blew me away,” Sharpe said. “In the U.S., we can only just open our Bureau of Census Statistics and find all kinds of data relevant to homicide victims, where they are and who they are, so we can easily paint a picture and have it inform our research, policy and practise.”

In Canada, she said, the lack of race-based data equals erasure of the experiences of Black Canadians who are disproportionately impacted by homicide. “Race-based collection of data matters,” Sharpe said. “If you’re not counting it, then people feel as if they don’t count.”

For this reason, Sharpe founded The Centre for Research and Innovation for Black Survivors of Homicide Victims, or the CRIB — the first centre of its kind in Canada dedicated to projects researching the traumatic impact of murder on surviving family members and their communities, and how best to address it.

Through a study done by the CRIB alongside the Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Sharpe found there is a lack of understanding by mental health professionals to address the issue of trauma in communities of colour, and that 65 per cent of Ontario service providers, from probation officers to psychologists, don’t feel they have the culturally responsive skills to best serve Black and Indigenous populations.

Informing better policy is one of the reasons Statistics Canada announced its intent to publish homicide data on ethnocultural groups in July, but it also aligned with broader calls for racial equality from the public.

Warren Silver, the national training officer of the Policing Services Program at StatCan, said the federal agency had collected data specific to Indigenous people since 2014 because of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girlsmovement.

While StatCan was already working on providing homicide data on other ethnicities, Silver said calls for racial equity in 2020, specifically for Black communities following the death of George Floyd, a Black man killed by Minneapolis police, have “definitely pushed” the needle forward.

Sharpe said the release of the data is a “step in the right direction.” What’s still missing from the numbers, however, is the context behind how African, Caribbean and Black Canadians are impacted by it.

Sharpe said the CRIB hopes to unearth some of that by launching Canada’s first study focusing on the experiences of African, Caribbean and Black Canadians after the homicide of a loved one, called the Invisible Wounds Project. The research project will begin in April 2021.

The data collected, with the help of the Canadian Centre for Addiction and Mental Health and CMHA, Sharpe said, will inform the development of policy and intervention that can help support organizations meet the needs of those families.

The presence of official data from Statistics Canada marks a beginning, Sharpe said.

“But we have got to contextualize the experience of homicide for Black communities to better be able to respond.”

Source: ‘A pandemic of grief’: StatCan’s first-ever data on Black victims of homicide prompts calls for targeted trauma services

Outcomes of STEM immigrants in Canada and the U.S.

Good overview of this study, showing that overall STEM immigrants do worse in Canada than the USA, with Statistics Canada providing possible explanations:

Immigrants make up a large share of university-educated workers in STEM fields in both Canada and the U.S., and a recent study looked into which country sees better outcomes for immigrants in these sectors.

The Statistics Canada study looked at the economic outcomes of immigrants age 25 to 64 who had at least a bachelor’s degree in a STEM— science, technology, engineering, mathematics—field. In Canada, the data is from 2016, while U.S. data is from 2015 to 2017.

In general, U.S. immigrants saw better outcomes.

In both countries, immigrants with at least a bachelor’s degree were twice as likely as the native-born population to have studied in a STEM field. They were also three times as likely to have studied engineering, computer science, and math.

In terms of occupational outcomes, more than half of STEM-educated immigrant workers in both countries held non-STEM jobs. The study said this was, generally, not a big issue because STEM skills are valued in many other occupations. However, it becomes an issue when STEM-educated immigrants in Canada end up  working at jobs that do not require a university education. In Canada, only 20 per cent of STEM educated immigrants working outside of the field are actually working a job that requires a university degree. In the U.S., it is 48 per cent.

Among all STEM-educated workers, immigrants earned 25 per cent less than their Canadian-born counterparts. There was no earnings gap between immigrants and U.S.-born workers.

Even within the Canadian STEM field, immigrants who found work earned 17 per cent less than Canadian-born individuals. In the U.S., immigrants earned about 4 per cent more than their native-born counterparts.

STEM-educated immigrants who did not find a job in the field earned about 34 per cent less than Canadians with the same education. The wage gap was narrower in the States, with immigrants earning about 7 per cent less.

Why are outcomes better in the U.S.?

Statistics Canada offers five possible explanations, though little research has been done on this question.

U.S. is first choice for many high-skilled immigrants

It may be that the skills of STEM-educated immigrants entering the U.S. are higher on overage than those entering Canada.

The study referenced a paper that examined the wage gap between immigrants and native-born workers in Australia, Canada and the U.S. It found significant earning gaps in Australia and Canada compared to the U.S. The authors said the tendency for highly-skilled immigrants to choose the U.S. over other countries was a primary factor in their better relative earnings outcomes in the U.S.

More STEM-educated immigrants in Canada

A higher percentage of Canada’s STEM-educated workforce are immigrants compared to the U.S. The number of STEM-educated immigrants who entered Canada rose significantly in the 1990s in response to the high-tech boom, and has remained at high levels since. Canada does not face a general shortage of STEM workers, the study says.

When there’s an abundance of workers, employers may tend to hire STEM graduates from universities that they are familiar with, and who have experience from countries with similar economies to Canada.

Different immigrant selection processes

In order to immigrate to the U.S. as a skilled worker, immigrants typically already have a job offer when they arrive, or they are international students who can be interviewed by prospective employers in the country. Immigrants who entered the U.S. contingent on job offers were more likely to get skilled jobs. Those who entered on a student, trainee, or temporary work visa, had a significant advantage over the native-born population in wages, patenting and publishing. Much of this advantage was due to their comparatively higher levels of education.

Canada’s points-based immigration system, which has been in use since the 1960s, selects economic immigrants based on their human capital. These days, the Express Entry system ranks candidates based on factors like education, work experience, age, and language ability. The highest-scoring candidates get invited to apply for permanent immigration. Though candidates can get extra points for having a job offer, in some cases, it is not required in order to immigrate to Canada.

Canadian employers play a larger role in immigrant selection in the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) federal immigration program, as well as many Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP), than compared to the Federal Skilled Worker Program.

The study found that STEM-educated immigrants that immigrate through the CEC do relatively well compared to others, and those who go through the PNP typically have the poorest outcomes. One major difference is that the CEC requires immigrants to have at least one year of skilled work experience in Canada, whereas the PNP is more varied, and includes pathways for low-skilled and medium-skilled workers to become permanent residents.

Differences in country of education

Country of education is one of the most important determinants of immigrant earnings, along with language and race or visible minority status, the study says.

Country of education may differ significantly among STEM-educated immigrants in Canada and the U.S. STEM immigrants educated in non-Western countries do not do as well, economically, as others. The study suggest this is for a number of reasons, for example, the quality of education may be lower, or perceived to be lower. In the absence of a shortage of STEM workers, employers may prefer to hire those educated in Western counties. Also, some credentials are not recognized by professional associations in the host country, either for valid or invalid reasons, and this may prevent immigrants from developing countries from getting STEM jobs. Language or cultural issues may also prevent immigrants from being able to use their STEM education. Discrimination may also be a factor.

Other factors unrelated to immigration policy

Factors unrelated to immigration policies may also contribute to better outcomes of STEM-educated immigrants in the U.S., for example, the U.S. industrial structure may result in a higher demand for STEM-educated workers in comparison to other countries.

Source: Outcomes of STEM immigrants in Canada and the U.S.

New StatsCan data ‘indispensable’ for understanding systemic anti-Black racism, says professor

Some good commentary by Malinda Smith, Afua Cooper and Carl James. My one note to Afua Cooper’s comment about Canadian Blacks being a voting block is that the very diversity of the Black community, more so than other communities, combined with their relative distribution across ridings, make it less simple than that:

Data released by Statistics Canada over the past year and a half could help to dispel the myth of a single, uniform Black population in Canada, and will be “indispensable” for researchers studying systemic racism in the country, say professors from three universities across the country.

Statistics Canada has released a spate of data on the Black population in Canada in stages since February, 2019, to honour the International Decade of Peoples of African Descent, which runs from 2015 to 2024. The studies span a 15-year period beginning in 2001 and use data from the census, the general social survey, academic studies, and more.

The data shows the diversity of the Black population is often “obscured” by anti-Black racism and stereotypes that lead to a view of a “single” Black community in Canada. That belief exacerbates the effects of systemic racism, and leads to policies and practices that fail to account for the unequal effect of certain policies or practices, say Canadian researchers.

“This data…is really important for us to see the implications of racism and stereotypes on the life chances and outcomes for the Black Canadian population. Regardless of background, educational achievement, who they are, the stereotype prevails,” said Malinda Smith, professor of political science at the University of Calgary and the vice-provost of equity, diversity, and inclusion at the school.

Prof. Smith served on an advisory council created by Statistics Canada to help interpret the data. The data, Prof. Smith continued, “is indispensable for understanding systemic racism. What it helps you to see is the disproportionate impact of a certain practice on specific groups.”

Both the “breadth” and “depth” of the Statistics Canada studies make them particularly valuable, said Afua Cooper, an historian, sociology professor at Dalhousie University, and the coauthor of the university’s report on Lord Dalhousie’s history on slavery and race. Prof. Cooper also served on the Statistics Canada advisory panel.

“I’m going ‘wow’ all the time,” Prof. Cooper said, adding that the studies have been incorporated into her teachings

The breadth of the new data allows for change, or lack of change, to be accurately observed over a longer period of time, said Carl James, professor of education and senior advisor on equity and representation at York University.

“It would be good to look at this again five years from now, so we can see if there have been changes. What accounts for those changes if there are changes? How can we know the extent to which issues we identify now have been addressed? We can only know that if the data exists,” said Prof. James, who was also a member of the panel.

Statistics Canada began releasing the first set of data during Black History Month in February 2019. Titled “Diversity of the Black population in Canada: An overview,” the  study focused primarily on demographic characteristics and sought to “highlight the diversity of the Black population in terms of their ethnic and cultural origins, places of birth and languages,” the document reads.

The studies collected data from people who self-identified as Black on Statistics Canada surveys.

The first study shows that the Black population in Canada doubled in size between 1996 and 2016, to 1.2-million people—roughly 3.5 per cent of the population. The Black population is about a decade younger, on average, than the population as a whole, with a median age of 30.  It also showed that just more than half of Black adults in Canada were born in another country—170 different countries in total.

The second release came a year later, also during Black History Month, on Feb. 25, 2020, a few weeks before COVID-19 lockdowns were imposed. It included two studies, both focused more on socioeconomic factors such as education, employment, and income.

The first study, titled “Canada’s Black population: Education, labour and resilience” said that “compared to the rest of the population, employment rates remain low and the prevalence of low-income is more common among the Black population.

“Despite these challenges, Black individuals have high rates of job satisfaction and high rates of resilience,” the study reads.

The study showed that from 2001 to 2016, the Black population had unemployment rates about four percentage points higher than the rest of the population. The finding was consistent for both men and women. Even when an individual had  postsecondary education, in 2016 the rate for the Black population was 9.2 per cent compared to 5.3 per cent in the rest of the population.

Prof. Smith wrote on Twitter that the resilience finding “does not surprise me. It might surprise those inclined toward deficit stereotypes. There’s a fierce optimism among the Black community in Canada.”

“There’s a lot of negative stereotypes of Black people as angry or violent. The findings of the resilience study was that Black people were more likely to be optimistic about the future. They thought about the potential for change,” Prof. Smith told The Hill Times.

“Black youth have desires to get into university, however they didn’t think it was going to happen because of discrimination and bias. But they have the highest aspirations. I don’t think many Canadians think of Black youth as having high aspirations for education,” she continued.

The study also said that “challenges facing the Black population may present themselves differently within specific groups” such as differences between immigrants and non-immigrants in terms of postsecondary education. Black women born in Canada were more likely than women in the rest of the population to get at least a bachelor’s degree, but Black immigrant women were significantly less likely than women in the rest of the population to get a postsecondary degree.

The second study focused on the socioeconomic outcomes for Black youth. It found that Black youth were as likely as other youth in the rest of the population to have a high school diploma, but that Black youth were less likely to have a postsecondary diplomas or degrees. It also found second- and third-generation Black youth were less likely than a first-generation Black child to have a postsecondary degree.

“The gap between postsecondary graduation rates for Black youth and other youth remained after accounting for differences in socioeconomic and family characteristics. Other factors not measured by the Census of Population could be the source of these differences,” the study reads.

“The education system was designed for particular kinds of students in particular ways. It was not designed in a way that would address, welcome, and make inclusive the experiences of Black students,” Prof. James said.

For Prof. James, the explanation lies in the fact that Black youth tend to have worse educational outcomes the longer their family has been in Canada.

“That means those who have gone through the education system and have been socialized in Canadian society do not do as well. That tells us something must be dealt if we’re going to address the issues of Black students,” he said.

The most recent Statistics Canada release came on Aug. 13, and looked at the changes in socioeconomic outcomes of the Black population by generation, immigrant status, sex, and country of origin compared to the rest of the Canadian population between 2001 and 2016. It provided many of the same findings as the previous studies but was disaggregated to include more information, such as immigrant status, on the same questions.

Taken together, Prof. Cooper said, these studies send a message to Canadian political leaders and gives them a base of evidence to work from.

“The 2016 census tells us that there’s 1.2-million Black people. That’s a voting bloc. In terms of political survival, you have to take the Black population seriously,” she said.

Despite the clear political incentive, Prof. Cooper said these data sets show that Canadian politicians and other institutions have a duty to “ensure that Black people may be brought into the Charter.”

“How are we going to make this data work and matter? It has to matter in the day-to-day material life of Black people in this country. [Statistics Canada] has built a wonderful document. What kind of commitments do the federal government or other Canadian institutions [have] to ensure that Black people may be brought into the Charter? In criminal justice, in health, in education, [which] we have not experienced,” she said.

“Is this just going to be another report that sits on the shelf? It has to matter in the lives of Black people,” said Prof. Cooper.

Source: New StatsCan data ‘indispensable’ for understanding systemic anti-Black racism, says professor

Too soon to say if StatsCan will bring in more racialized researchers, says official; ‘we’re just building those relationships’

To watch and see whether the model used for Indigenous peoples is needed or applicable to some or all visible minority groups:

Canada’s statistics agency is working with an expert advisory committee to better collect race-based data, but it is too early to say whether it will hire more racialized on-the-ground statisticians and researchers to help, says one official.

Marc Lachance, acting director of health, justice, diversity, and populations with Statistics Canada, acknowledged in an interview last week that while the country has made some strides in collecting Indigenous data, figures for some ethno-cultural groups are lagging.

“We have put in place a committee of experts that could specifically provide us guidance on—you know, we never really did a lot of work on the Black populations before, how do we do this?” said Mr. Lachance in a phone interview July 9.

In July 2019, the agency established the Centre for Indigenous Statistics and Partnerships, which consolidated “long-standing working relationships” with communities and organizations across the country into one centre. All research at the agency involving Indigenous people is “channeled through” this centre, which helps “provide relevant expertise and co-ordinate outreach to partners,” a July 6 statement from the agency read.

Included in the centre are 11 Indigenous liaison advisors, some of whom, according to Mr. Lachance, might work on reserves, and most of whom identify as Indigenous. The agency did not provide an exact breakdown, nor a dollar figure of cost, for these positions. The program began in the 1980s and positions are currently funded through the centre, said StatsCan spokesperson Peter Frayne in a July 10 email. The officers’ salaries and non-salary needs like travel are covered. “Funding  may vary from year to year based on the level of activities and engagement, but typically peaks during the conduct of the census,” Mr. Frayne added.

They are stationed across the country and look after a particular region, said Mr. Lachance. A StatsCan webpage lists advisors as covering Atlantic provinces, Manitoba, Inuit Nunangat, and others. “That program is probably one of our most established programs to engage communities such as the Indigenous [one] on Indigenous data,” he said.

“Their role is very key, specifically in ensuring there is trust with the data and a good rapport and relationship with StatsCan.” When the agency starts work for its census, for example, these officers act as ambassadors who promote it and in some cases seek permission to be able to go into communities, or at least notify Indigenous leadership about the agency’s intentions.

Mr. Lachance said it is too soon to say whether the agency will bring in Black community researchers to help it gather better race-based data.

“We’re working with experts right now. The plan is in the fall, we do more consultations with racialized communities, specifically to get their input on new approaches on how we can disseminate information” to those communities, he said.

Statistics Canada received $4.2-million over three years through the government’s anti-racism strategy last year. A portion of that funding was to allow the agency to set up an advisory committee on ethno-cultural and immigration statistics. That advisory committee will guide the body in setting up a “conceptual framework on ethnocultural diversity and inclusion as well as families of indicators to be able to track relevant ‘inclusion’ indicators over time,” according to a July 6 statement from the agency, which also said the committee had been formed and already met once, with another meeting slated for last week.

Mr. Lachance said it’s possible that the agency will create other “ambassador”-like roles for other racial groups, but he said “we haven’t made that decision yet, we’re just building those relationships.”

His comments come in the wake of an influx of public calls for better race-based data collection. The COVID-19 pandemic has harmed Black people in the United States at a greater rate than it has white people. Canada has not tracked pandemic outcomes by race or ethnic background.

To better understand the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on some communities, the agency has already made a push to collect more disaggregated data. It has been releasing a series of voluntary questionnaires, which change about every two weeks, and tap into a range of topics like parenting during the pandemic and the impact faced by those living with disabilities.

“How we continue this relationship depends on what the community needs and how we want to work closer with them,” said Mr. Lachance.

“We are accountable to Canadians about the data. The data is about what individuals are telling us about themselves, and they’re taking the time to answer the questionnaire and surveys.”

Some experts who spoke to The Hill Times this month noted that authorities and government institutions might face an uphill battle as they go about collecting race-based data, thanks in part to “longstanding disparities” in areas like housing, healthcare, and food insecurity in these communities.

Anna Banerji, a director of global and Indigenous health at the University of Toronto’s faculty of medicine, noted in an earlier interview that “there’s a lot of information that’s out there that’s partially used or distorted in the usage, and there’s no underlying [questioning of] what are the contributors to this.” She noted that in some cases, data has been used to justify racism and discrimination, a fact that Public Safety Minister Bill Blair (Scarborough Southwest, Ont.) also acknowledged this month.

Mr. Lachance said Statistics Canada’s researchers are well aware of this history.

“When we come to the analysis [stage], we need to ensure that the analysis that we do and analytical products [we put out] are sensitive to the perspectives of the communities,” he said, adding StatsCan consults national Indigenous organizations in creating or testing the Aboriginal Peoples Survey, which gathers figures to track the “social and economic conditions” of those living off reserve. Groups consulted include the Assembly of First Nations, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, and the Metis National Council, he said.

The agency said that in 2017, Indigenous people were hired as interviewers and guides during the collection period, and organizations promoted and reviewed the analytical findings of the Aboriginal Peoples Survey.

“This ensures that findings are presented in an appropriate manner and ultimately results in stories that are balanced and include essential contextual information,” said a statement from the agency, which also noted that those interviewers and guides help to improve the reliance and quality of the analysis.

A lack of consultation has created barriers for Indigenous communities in the past, according to a January 2019 report prepared for Indigenous Services Canada and the AFN. In 2006, for example, the AFN withdrew its support for the Aboriginal Peoples Survey over concerns that it infringed on their right to control and govern that information.

In 2019, Statistics Canada shared data on suicide among Indigenous populations, a sensitive topic, as part of an effort to engage communities about the data it is collecting, said Mr. Lachance.

“Usually, we can go ahead and just print the suicide rates, but without the proper context and proper process…that report can also have some unintended consequences, because it does provide sometimes a negative picture,” he said.

That report, shared in June 2019, comes with an introduction that references intergenerational trauma and the effects of colonization and ongoing marginalization, specifically “the loss of land, traditional subsistence activities and control over living conditions” and a “suppression of belief systems.”

“We always feel that we’re accountable to our respondents, so the trust comes in different levels,” said Mr. Lachance. “It comes from the fact that the data that people provide us is confidential … and [in the assurance] of the quality and statistical rigour that we are bringing to the data,” he said.

Jeff Latimer, director general and strategic adviser for health data with Statistics Canada, told  the House Health Committee last week that a lack of standards between provinces and territories, for instance, makes it difficult to get other data like figures around deaths in the country. Part of that is because some jurisdictions still rely on paper-based processes for death registrations, making it difficult for the agency to paint a complete national picture, as it relies on these authorities to filter up data to the federal government through the Public Health Agency of Canada.

Source: Too soon to say if StatsCan will bring in more racialized researchers, says official; ‘we’re just building those relationships’

ICYMI: The Demographics of Automation in Canada: Who Is at Risk?

The executive summary, highlighting that the most vulnerable share the same characteristics as those having poor economic outcomes in the past. I wonder, however, whether the discovery of who are truly essential workers during COVID-19, would affect their conclusions:

The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed a new vulnerability among firms that rely on human labour. In order to comply with public health directives on physical distancing, many businesses have had to completely shut down their operations for months. Others remained functional thanks to teleworking, which many intend to prolong and even adopt permanently. As experts contemplate the long-term repercussions of the pandemic on the economy, many expect firms to ramp up their adoption of new technologies to better weather the post-pandemic recession and insulate themselves from future health crises.

Just a few years ago, policy-makers became concerned about the prospect of many job-related tasks being automated using advances in robotics and artificial intelligence and in particular about the projected job losses at the time. While we no longer expect entire jobs to disappear, new technologies may substantially transform jobs, forcing workers to adjust to new requirements and prompting governments to assist them in this process.

In this study, Statistics Canada researchers Marc Frenette and Kristyn Frank are breaking new ground by examining the demographic and employment characteristics of workers facing a high risk of job transformation due to automation. To assess the potential impact of a new wave of automation on vulnerable workers, policy-makers need to know not only what jobs are at risk but also who holds these jobs. For instance, while we know that previous waves of robotization replaced low-skilled workers and enhanced the work of those with high skills, this time around there are fears it is high-skilled workers who are at risk, given the rise of new algorithms that are increasingly proficient at accomplishing complex cognitive tasks.

Consistent with the findings of previous research, Frenette and Frank show that, overall, more than 10 percent of Canadian workers face a high risk of seeing their jobs transformed through automation – high risk being defined as a probability of 70 percent and higher. And close to 30 percent of workers face a 50-to-70 percent risk. What the authors underscore, however, is that the extent to which the automation risk varies is based on certain worker characteristics. For instance, more than a third of workers without a certificate, diploma or degree face a high risk of job transformation, compared with fewer than 4 percent for those with degrees. The probability of being at high risk also decreases significantly as employment income increases. Over a quarter of workers in the bottom decile of the income distribution are at high risk, whereas only 2 percent of workers in the top decile are. Also among the groups most exposed to job transformation are older workers (aged 55 and over), those with low literacy or numeracy proficiency, the part-time employed,  those working in small firms, and in manufacturing, where about 27 percent workers are at high risk. The authors find no significant differences in the risk of job transformation on the basis of gender, immigration status, having a disability or being unionized.

The results from this study stand in sharp contrast with many observers’ expectations that the new technologies could adversely affect workers previously seen as immune to automation. It suggests that the workers at high risk of job transformation due to automation, by and large, share the same characteristics as workers who have been susceptible to poor labour market outcomes in the past. Frenette and Frank say that more research is needed to better understand which characteristics can be interpreted as risk factors. Nevertheless, by shedding light on the differential effects of automation on particular segments of the workforce, their study contributes to labour market policy development going forward.


Recent immigrants and non-permanent residents missed in the 2011 Census

May have missed this but important analysis of the data limitations regarding immigrants and non-permanent residents in the 2011 NHS, regarding the characteristics of those missed and plausible explanations.

No discussion as to whether the shift from the mandatory long-form census questionnaire to the voluntary NHS questionnaire made a difference and we will see once an equivalent analysis is done for the 2016 census:

Recent immigrants and NPRs are growing segments of the Canadian population. While censuses strive to provide comprehensive coverage of the population, these groups are less likely to be enumerated. The purpose of this analysis was to examine the factors associated with the propensity for being missed in the 2011 Census for recent immigrants and NPRs using RRC data.

According to the RRC, just under 20% of recent immigrants and more than 40% of NPRs were missed by the 2011 Census, compared with 8.3% of the total population. While missed rates are not a direct reflection of undercoverage but are rather one of the elements of undercoverage, they are still a clear sign that these two populations could have been less covered than the rest of the population in the 2011 Census.

Some characteristics of recent immigrants and NPRs are associated with the propensity for being missed.

First of all, this study highlighted the close links between the year at landing and the propensity of recent immigrants for being missed. More than one-third of immigrants who settled in 2011 and almost a quarter of those who settled in 2010 were missed in the 2011 Census. Immigrants who held a temporary residence permit before being admitted as immigrants were also slightly less likely to be missed, when the effect of other characteristics are accounted for.

About 30% of recent immigrants whose mother tongue was Punjabi were missed in the 2011 Census. The multivariate analysis also highlighted the higher likelihood for immigrants with an Arabic mother tongue to be missed. These results might stem from cultural factors specific to immigrants from certain countries, notably regarding social integration to Canada.

The context in which immigrants are admitted to the country might also affect the likelihood to be missed in the census. While a fifth of immigrants were missed in 2011, 12.3% of refugees were missed. These immigrants fled very difficult situations in their home country and usually maintain contacts with the Canadian government on a regular basis. For these reasons, they may have a better relationship with the government.

Multivariate analysis identified additional correlates of the likelihood for recent immigrants to be missed. Immigrants who were in a couple, who were living in Quebec and who were under the age of 20 were less likely to be missed. These results are similar to the ones observed for the entire Canadian population.

Knowledge of the official languages is a very important marker of integration into a new country. Recent immigrants who reported not speaking English or French at landing seem to be less likely to be missed. This could be because they take language training classes, which might introduce them to the topic of the census, because they learn an official language shortly after landing, and because of differences in concepts and measurement of concepts between census data and IRCC data. It would be very relevant to examine the 2016 RRC data when they become available to see if there is the same finding.

For NPRs, the duration of the permit held by NPRs played a role in being missed in the 2011 Census. For example, more than half of NPRs who received their temporary resident permit no more than six months before the census were missed in 2011. Because they arrived in the country very recently, these NPRs may consider their usual residence to still be in their country of origin, and therefore not consider themselves part of the census universe. Conversely, 36.4% of NPRs who were granted temporary residence two or more years before census day were missed.

Missed rates for NPRs were above 45% for NPRs who were not in a couple. NPRs in their twenties were also more likely to be missed. As with immigrants, these results tend to be similar to the results of the general population.

When accounting for the effect of other factors, NPRs who held their first temporary permit were less likely to be missed than those who already had a permit in the past. This is difficult to interpret and could be studied a second time when the 2016 RRC data become available. It should be noted that the sample from the NPR frame was increased in 2016; as a result, more precise analyses could be conducted for this subpopulation when the data become available.

Refugee status claimants were less likely to be missed than other NPRs. However, the multivariate analysis revealed that much of this difference could come from the specific characteristics of refugee claimants, including their length of stay in the country.

Source: Statistics Canada – Catalogue no. 89-657-X2019008 25 –Recent immigrants and non-permanent residents missed in the 2011 Census (NHS)