This edition of Graphic Intelligence compares the hourly earnings of former international students (FIS) who studied at Canadian institutions, with those of their Canadian born-and educated (CBE) and foreign born-and-educated (FBE) counterparts.
With Canada increasingly looking to international students as a source of post-secondary tuition revenues and new immigrants, it is critical to monitor the relative labour-market performance of FISs. Our recent report finds that FISs outperform FBE immigrants by a substantial margin, but underperform CBE graduates from similar post-secondary programs.
We find that on average, hourly earnings of male and female FISs exceed that of FBE immigrants by roughly 30 percent, whereas they are almost identical to CBE women, and significantly higher than CBE men (unadjusted). When we exclude education level, field of study (in the FIS-CBE comparison) and region of origin (in the FIS-FBE comparison), and adjust for variations in other characteristics such as age and time of labour market entry, FISs still consistently outperform FBE immigrants and have outcomes that are roughly similar to CBE graduates (adjusted unconditional). Finally, conditioning these estimates on the field of study and region of origin shows that FISs underperform Canadians graduating from similar programs (adjusted unconditional). This indicates that FISs who are of racial minorities or have weaker English/French language face more job search frictions and discrimination.
These findings have important implications on our immigration system. Express Entry systems should give preference to Canadian-educated applicants, while also providing better immigrant settlement policies.
To learn more about labour-market performance of these different student groups and the implications for education and immigration policies, read “Comparing Outcomes: The Relative Job-Market Performance of Former International Students,” by Mikal Skuterud and Zong Jia Chen.