Immigration and Labour is a new area of research for AIMS. It seeks to examine policy options in response to the demographic challenges facing the region from a market-oriented and pro-growth immigration strategy.
The One Nova Scotia report indicated that attracting and retaining inter-provincial and international immigrants is essential to population growth to increase the number of entrepreneurs, and to renew the labour force. We believe that the analysis of the One Nova Scotia commission applies to the rest of the region.
Labour market performance is a key determinant of prosperity. Smart labour market policies can reduce the prevalence and depth of poverty while helping to drive economic growth. Among the most important labour market challenges facing the Atlantic region is an aging population. Currently, the region has consistently low participation rates. AIMS wishes to respond to the issues of labour and immigration, in a formative way, by increasing its research efforts and focus on these two areas.
AIMS research in this area seeks to identify policy choices that strengthen labour markets by reducing unemployment, increasing productivity, and encouraging entrepreneurship. The fact is, the rate of immigration is not high enough to satisfy regional economic demand, or face the challenges of aging populations, low birth rates, and chronic labour shortages. While immigration to Atlantic Canadian provinces has marginally increased in the last decade, recent world energy factors are adding to challenges in Atlantic Canada as more residents working abroad start looking for work back home and create a supply and demand issue in the skilled trades. As more attention is directed to urban and rural immigration markets, AIMS will coordinate policy research that will contribute to the social, economic and political discussion in the Atlantic Region.
AIMS will further seek to understand how taxation, Federal Express Entry, education, entrepreneurship and oil market stabilization factor into an immigrant’s choice to live in Atlantic Canada. Recognizing these challenges, AIMS will delineate between the skilled trades and university education as a means for training and employing new Canadians to the region, and will survey and study supply and demand factors, labour harmonization, apprenticeship training, immigrant qualifications, and wage parity between union and non-union workers.
International governments have initiated various means to increase birthrate productivity. AIMS will study relevant statistical criteria, including technology, relocation, and work-life balance as policy objectives to increase birthrates in the Atlantic Region.
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