Evaluating the Impacts of COVID-19 on Business Conditions, Labour Market Dynamics, Workplace Practices, and Organizational Performance in Atlantic Canada - Published January,2024

Executive Summary

The COVID-19 pandemic shocked the world, economically and socially. “Normal” labour market dynamics were disrupted, bringing labour and skill shortages to greater public attention, and further alienating vulnerable groups like immigrants and international students. Businesses responded to this new environment with drastic changes. New technologies facilitated accelerated automation and alternative work arrangements like telework.

This report is one such study that examines the business impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, translating telephone interviews with 805 employers, in-depth interviews, and real field work around the Atlantic Provinces to a better understanding of the effects and lessons from the pandemic. This report clearly outlines the real regional harm of the COVID-19 pandemic on businesses, workers, and the unemployed, and draws conclusions about the economic realities emerging from the pandemic: how business practices have changed, how workers have adapted, and how the employers and employees can work together to move forward.

Full report: COVID Impact on Business Conditions, Labour Market Dynamic

Employer Attitudes towards Hiring Newcomers and International Students in the Atlantic Provinces - Published April, 2021

A massive driver of immigration and perhaps the most important factor in determining immigrant retention is employment. Ensuring that immigrants can find meaningful employment upon their arrival is paramount to enhancing the benefits of immigration and ensuring that skill and labour gaps in the local economy are filled.

Based on a survey of 801 employers across the Atlantic provinces prior to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, this study examines labour market conditions in Atlantic Canada and employer tendencies and attitudes towards hiring newcomers and international students. It also seeks to explore the effects that newcomers have on organizations, the characteristics organizations possess that result in them seeking to employ these individuals, and the challenges that arise when organizations employ these individuals. This study also aims to provide insights into how immigrant employment and skill matchmaking in the economy can be improved.

Full Report: Employer Attitudes towards Hiring Newcomers and International Students

Retention of Skilled Workers - Published January, 2021

Introduction: The retention of immigrants and international students has been a major challenge in Atlantic Canada. One of the key drivers of a lack of retention is the perception of a lack of suitable employment.

This report seeks to provide potential solutions to help employers better recruit, integrate and retain immigrant workers and international students in Atlantic Canada by addressing the following questions:

  • What are the main reasons for immigrant workers to leave an organization?
  • What barriers do employers experience in hiring immigrant workers and international students?
  • How do employers’ supportive behaviours and accommodating workplace practices affect turnover of immigrant employees?
  • What are possible solutions to eliminate barriers for employers to hire more immigrants and international students?

Full Report: Retention of Skilled Workers

Immigration Policy Effectiveness - Published January, 2021

Introduction: Immigrants choose where they want to go in large part based on perceived employment opportunities and culture in a region. Employers play a crucial role in achieving the objectives of immigration policies, especially those of the regional immigration programs such as the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) and the Atlantic Immigration Pilot (AIP). How do employers perceive the immigration process? How do employers navigate Canada’s immigration system? This report will discuss employer perceptions of immigration policy effectiveness and how those perceptions affect their subsequent hiring and retention of immigrants.

Full Report: Immigration Policy Effectiveness

Attitudes Towards Immigrants and International Students - Published January, 2021

What have Atlantic employers’ perceptions of hiring immigrants and international students over the recent medium term? This report focuses on Atlantic employers’ experiences, perceptions and outlook related to hiring immigrants and international students.

Full Report: Attitudes Towards Immigrants and International Students

Skills Shortages and Hiring Challenges - Published January, 2021

Introduction: How did Atlantic employers experience skills and labour shortages over the recent medium-term? What kinds of hiring opportunities or challenges do they anticipate over the next few years? This report focuses on Atlantic employers’ experiences and perceptions and outlook related to skills and labour shortages and hiring.

Full Report: Skills Shortages and Hiring Challenges

Business & Employment Growth - Published January, 2021

Introduction: How do Atlantic employers see the regional economy and their businesses growing over the medium- term? This paper is the first in a series of five reports on the results of a survey of 801 employers across Atlantic Canada on hiring, retention, immigration and economic growth. This report focuses on Atlantic employers’ perceptions and outlook related to economic and business growth.

Full Report: Business & Employment Growth