Canada aims to increase immigration to solve a stubborn labor shortage, seeking at least 1.45 million immigrants by 2025.
“Look, folks, it’s simple to me,” Canadian Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Sean Fraser said at a Tuesday news conference. “Canada needs more people.”
Fraser said COVID caused Canada to lose almost 1 million workers. He said immigration is the most efficient way to close the gap.
The proposed immigration plan aims for 465,000 immigrants in 2023 and up to 500,000 in 2025. Last year 405,000 immigrants arrived permanently in Canada, the country’s largest annual influx, Frasier said.
“We need more workers in every sector in every region of the country, regardless of whether it’s front-line health-care workers, truck drivers, home builders or software engineers,” Fraser said.
Canadian Prime Minister Justine Trudeau tweeted that “immigration is critical to growing our economy and helping businesses find the workers they need.”
Consulting firm Deloitte reports that job vacancies have risen 9% increase since late 2019 compared to a 33% increase in the U.S. over the same period.
In 2021 immigrants composed 23% of the Canadian population, the largest percentage in 150 years, according to Canadian census numbers.