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Temporary Foreign Workers in Canada: A look at regions and occupational skill




Tracy Lemieux and Jean-François Nadeau


The mandate of the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) is to provide independent analysis to Parliament on the state of the nation’s finances, the government’s estimates and trends in the national economy; and upon request from a committee or parliamentarian, to estimate the financial cost of any proposal for matters over which Parliament has jurisdiction.
This report assesses the importance of foreign workers in the Canadian economy, and then focuses on the question of foreign workers in low-skilled occupations.
It examines developments from 2002 to 2012, since the expansion of foreign worker programs to low-skilled occupations began in 2002. Where appropriate, it makes a distinction between the period up to and including the recession (2002-2009) and the post-recession period (2010 and beyond).

Number of pages


Place published

Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO)

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Economic sectors

General relevance - all sectors

Target groups

Policymakers, Journalists, and Researchers

Geographical focuses

Canada, Ontario, Alberta, Manitoba, Quebec, British Columbia, Other provinces, Federal, Nova Scotia, and National relevance