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Report/Press release

From Last Resort to First Choice: How the Temporary Foreign Worker Program is flooding the market, not filling a need

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Alberta Federation of Labour



During the recession, Alberta lost tens of thousands of jobs. Yet, we brought in tens of thousands of Temporary Foreign Workers. In 2011, the economy recovered and began creating jobs. But there was a Temporary Foreign Worker present in Alberta for three of every four jobs created.

Over the past four years, Alberta has brought in thousands more Temporary Foreign Workers than jobs created. This report – the latest in a series by the Alberta Federation
of Labour on the Temporary Foreign Worker program – shows
there is no need for the TFW program. Thousands of Albertans are out of work or involuntarily working part-time.

The evidence is stark: Alberta employers are bringing in more
TFWs than are needed to fill the new jobs the economy is creating. This report shows what we have known for some time: while there are shortages in select few trades or skills, there is no economy-wide labour shortage in Alberta. There is a shortage of people willing to work for less, and that is why Alberta continues to bring in thousands of Temporary Foreign Workers every year, even when the economy sheds jobs.

Responsible institution

Alberta Federation of Labour

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Policy analysis

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Alberta and National relevance