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Canada is losing its luster in the eyes of international workers

Canada is losing its luster in the eyes of international workers

The countries with the largest declines in click-through rates are mostly in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, according to analysis published by Indeed. (Image: 123RF)

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Waking up in the morning. Those who rely on international workers to fill their low-wage jobs may be biting their fingers: between the third quarter of 2023 and the end of the first of 2024, the share of foreign workers who clicked on their job offers on the digital platform has already fallen from 14.4% to 8.6%, according to By Brendon Bernard, Chief Economist at Indeed.

This is still better than levels recorded before 2021, he admitted on April 24, 2024, when he released his analysis. However, this represents a “significant” decline compared to levels observed over the past two years.

The decline in clicks is no small feat, and could be reflected in active population numbers as early as mid-2024, making the task of finding candidates more difficult, especially for lower-income positions.

In particular, it is jobs in childcare, warehousing, housekeeping, retail, security and care services that show the most notable loss of attractiveness, falling by at least 45%. In other words, it's the low-income, hard-to-fill jobs that have tarnished their shine the most, the economist summarizes.

According to data collected by the recruitment platform, the rate of clicks made by foreign workers between the first quarter of 2021 and the third of 2023 increased on average from 4% to 16%.

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When the increase was not large, the decline was more variable, explains Brendon Bernard.

Widespread decline

What's even more surprising is that this decline in interest in Canadian jobs is widespread, according to numbers compiled by Indeed.

In fact, with the exception of Australia, all 29 countries that were in the past most interested in jobs available here are showing a decline in CTR, the chief economist adds. It looked at places in the world where citizens accounted for at least 0.1% of clicks on jobs in Canada in the third quarter of 2023.

The countries where the difference is most pronounced are mostly in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, Tunisia, Algeria, Ghana, Qatar and Kenya. Indian and American candidates were also less attracted to Canadian jobs, with the click-through rate rising from 2.32% to 1.64%, and from 1% to 0.89%, respectively.

The decline observed in South Korea, Latin America and Western European countries is more “modest,” the author of the analysis explains.

There are several factors contributing to this decline, according to Brendon Bernard. First, Canada's labor and housing markets are not what they used to be. Therefore, the difficulty of finding housing in particular makes the country less attractive for candidates wishing to immigrate.

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Then, legislative changes already imposed — such as restoring visas to Mexican citizens — and coming will also tarnish Canada's image.

The economist cites as an example the adoption of the measure to limit the number of working hours for foreign students, as well as the reduction in the number of non-permanent residents that Ottawa envisioned. This leads international applicants to believe that obtaining work permits may now be more difficult.

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