Brain waste? National and regional analysis of educated immigrants in Canada

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University of New Brunswick


Canada benefits yearly from the brain gain of immigrants who are admitted in the country based on their human capital, but to what extent are they utilizing their formal education in the labour market? From a labour market perspective, it’s important for immigrants to utilize their education in their subsequent occupations to ensure economic integration, labour productivity, and economic development. Using Census 2016, we investigate whether immigrants work in occupations that match their education or whether they are mismatched due to over/undereducation in the labour market at the national and regional level. The multinomial logistic analysis shows that immigrants from specific source regions are more likely than others to be over/undereducated for their occupation. The latter indicates immigrants are overachieving in their occupation. The former implies brain waste. At the regional level, immigrants in Atlantic Canada have a higher likelihood of a job-education match compared to other Canadian regions.