Labour Studies Index

Updated: 2022-05-16

A Canada-US Comparison of Labour Market Outcomes among Highly Educated Immigrants

Document type Article
Author Bonikowska, Aneta
Author Hou, Feng
Author Picot, Garnett
Journal Canadian Public Policy
Volume 37
Date 2011-04-23
ISSN 1911-9917
Pages 25-48


This paper compares changes in relative wages of university educated new immigrant workers in Canada and the United States over the period 1980–2005 and finds that outcomes were generally superior in the United States. Wages of university educated new immigrants declined relative to domestic born university graduates over the study period in Canada but rose between 1990 and 2000 in the United States. The university wage premium for new immigrants was similar in both countries in 1980 but by 2000 was considerably higher in the United States. Accounting for compositional shifts did not alter these basic results.