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J Popul Econ. 1998 Feb;11(1):127-47.

The unemployment insurance compensation experience of immigrants in Canada, 1980-1988.



Some have questioned whether immigrants to Canada use government entitlement programs to an extent which is disproportionate to their numbers. A new data set compiled by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, Revenue Canada, and Statistics Canada is used to examine the unemployment experience of Canadian immigrant cohorts during 1980-88. On the basis of the review of records of unemployment insurance (UI) benefits of individuals who immigrated to Canada during those years and who filed income tax returns, unemployment experiences are compared by landing year, gender, level of education, language ability, and country of last permanent residence. The determinants of the proportion of each immigrant cohort which received UI benefits are then estimated by relating the proportions to landing year, duration of time in Canada, and labor market conditions. No obvious influence upon UI receipt behavior following the immigration reforms of 1982 was identified. The recession of 1981-82 did, however, have a major impact upon incomes which failed to recover until 5-6 years later. More generous UI benefits slightly increased the likelihood of UI receipts.

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