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Sociology 339F Immigration and Employment. Instructor: Prof. Jeffrey G. Reitz Department of Sociology Ethnic, Immigration and Pluralism Studies Munk Centre for International Studies University of Toronto Winter, 2006. Today’s Agenda.

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sociology 339f immigration and employment

Sociology 339FImmigration and Employment

Instructor: Prof. Jeffrey G. Reitz

Department of Sociology

Ethnic, Immigration and Pluralism Studies

Munk Centre for International Studies

University of Toronto

Winter, 2006

today s agenda
Today’s Agenda
  • Relation to Soc336F - Immigration and Race Relations in Canada
  • Employment issues in Canadian immigration: facts, questions, issues, policies
  • Institutional and comparative analysis of immigration
  • Course requirements and practical matters
1 relation to soc336f immigration and race relations in canada
1. Relation to Soc336FImmigration and Race Relations in Canada
  • Employment issues key to understanding Canadian immigration
  • Inter-dependence of institutions
    • employment shapes social impact of immigration
    • social context affects employment
  • Sequence optional
2 employment issues in canadian immigration facts questions issues policies
2. Employment issues in Canadian immigration: facts, questions, issues, policies
  • Canada is heavily committed to large-scale immigration
immigrants to canada 1971 2002
Immigrants to Canada, 1971-2002

Source: Citizenship and Immigration Canada

scale of canadian immigration compared to the united states 1906 91
Scale of Canadian immigrationcompared to the United States, 1906-91



% of pop.

Source: Green (1995, p. 48)

canadian opinion on immigration levels
Canadian opinion on immigration levels

“If it were your job to plan an immigration policy for Canada at this time, would you be inclined to increase immigration, decrease immigration, or keep the number of immigrants at about the current level?”

Source: Gallup Canada, Inc.

2 employment issues in canadian immigration facts questions issues policies8
2. Employment issues in Canadian immigration: facts, questions, issues, policies
  • Canada is heavily committed to large-scale immigration – but why?
    • Economic growth, population size, population aging, multicultural destiny
  • Employment success of immigrants is considered key to success – but do employment policies work?
    • Selection, settlement, integration
  • Immigrants have difficulty, but the second generation does better – is it enough?
    • Policies for second generation?
Myth: Toronto was given an award by the United Nations as the ‘world’s most diverse city.’
  • Fact: The UN has no such award.
  • Fact: ‘Diversity’ has never been measured internationally.
Myth: Canada is a ‘Mosaic,’ the United States is a ‘Melting Pot.’
  • Fact: The United States has no ‘Melting Pot’ policy.
  • Fact: In polls, Americans are more likely than Canadians to say ethnic minorities should maintain cultures and traditions.
  • Fact: Inter-ethnic ‘tolerance’ is not dramatically different in the two countries.
Myth: Immigrants are a burden on our welfare system.
  • Myth: Immigrants live in ‘monster homes’ and drive BMWs.
  • Fact: The average earnings of immigrants in all groups is below the native-born Canadian average. And it’s declining.
  • Fact: Immigrants under-use welfare.
does canadian labour market need skilled immigrants
Does Canadian Labour Market Need Skilled Immigrants?
  • Perspective 1: Canada needs skilled immigrants to grow
  • Perspective 2: Labour force size makes little difference in a globalizing economy
  • Fact: skilled immigrants having increased difficulty getting skilled jobs in Canada
  • Question: should we have fewer immigrants? Less emphasis on skill? Address problems in labour market?
does canadian labour market discriminate against immigrants
Does Canadian Labour Market Discriminate Against Immigrants?
  • Perspective 1: Employment discrimination is present but not significant in Canada
  • Perspective 2: Employment discrimination is pervasive in Canada
  • Fact: research requires careful analysis; much needed research not conducted
  • Question: what does available research show? is it divisive to focus on discrimination?
how significant is illegal immigration in canada
How Significant is Illegal Immigration in Canada?
  • Perspective 1: Illegal immigrants are now essential to industries such as construction
  • Perspective 2: Illegal immigration undermines the Canadian immigration program
  • Facts: no studies of illegal immigration in Canada
  • Question: what does experience of other countries show? Can Canada avoid problems encountered elsewhere?
3 institutional and comparative perspectives on immigration and employment
3. Institutional and Comparative Perspectives on Immigration and Employment
  • 1. How is Canada distinctive in immigration and immigrant employment?
  • 2. If immigrants have been more successful in Canada – why?
  • 3. What can be learned from comparing Canadian immigration with other countries?
canadian distinctiveness and possible reasons
Canadian Distinctiveness and Possible Reasons
  • Better selection?
  • Less Prejudice and Discrimination?
  • Multiculturalism?
  • Institutions:
    • Labour markets
    • Education
    • Welfare
    • Values
    • Cities
    • Politics
session topics
  • Part 1. Introduction
  • 1. Immigration and employment in Canada: theory, context, issues Jan. 9
  • Part 2. Immigration, Ethnicity, and Labour Markets
  • 2. Human and social capital, and trends in immigrant earnings Jan. 16
  • 3. Immigrant employment in a knowledge economy Jan. 23
  • 4. Immigrant skill underutilization Jan. 30
  • 5. Racial discrimination Feb.6
  • 6. Unions and labour market structure mid-term take-home exam questions distributed - Feb. 13

(Note: Reading week, Feb. 20-24)

  • 7. Immigrant businesses mid-term take-home exam essays due - Feb.27
  • Part 3. The Second Generation
  • 8. Educational attainment Mar.6
  • 9. Employment success Mar. 13
  • Part 4. Policy Issues
  • 10. Human rights and employment equity policy Mar. 20
  • 11. Policies for skill transfer and utilization Mar. 27
  • 12. Employment insurance and the welfare state -- term paper due; end-term exam distributed – Apr.3
  • 13. Immigration policy end-term exam essays due - Apr. 10
required readings
Required readings
  • available at the Library.
  • also in a course pack from Alicos Copy, 346 Bloor St. West.
required work 2 exams 1 paper
Required work: 2 exams, 1 paper
  • Exams: Two one-week take-home exams consisting of two short essays each, due Feb. 27 and Apr. 10.
    • Weight: 25% each
  • Essay: A 12- to 15-page essay on an approved topic related to immigration and employment in Canada.
    • Weight: 50%
    • A one-page proposal is due Feb. 27, and the
    • completed essay due Mar. 27.
    • Guidelines for essays will be distributed and posted on the web.
course email policy
Course email policy
  • “Email should NOT be used for any of the following purposes:
    • to request information made available in class or posted on the course website;
    • to request information in the week prior to due dates (questions should be resolved earlier, preferably in class);
    • to submit term work (submit hard copies only, with e-files submitted to